Airplane Lands Safely In Hudson River (1 Viewer)

Latest speculation indicates one or more flocks of birds entering BOTH engines. Scary shit but that flight crew knew their stuff, it appears.
That's what yahoo is now reporting.

Executing a water landing in a commercial airliner with no fatalities is generally considered to be damn close to impossible. There have only been a couple of cases in the last 60 years or so, and none in an aircraft of this size, to my knowledge.

So, yes; the flight crew knew their stuff indeed. Kudos to them.
An anonymous source involved in the investigation has told the Utica Observer Dispatch that the pilot was Chelsey B. Sullenberger III, 58 years old and a 29-year employee of US Airways.

Yeah, I'd say he has a shot at Employee-of-the-Month for January.
Andrew Jamison, a passenger on the plane that landed in the river said, "God was certainly looking out for all of us." What does that mean? If GOD landed the plane safely, why praise the pilot? If GOD landed the plane, didn't he also fly the birds into the engines? I'm confused.
Personally, I prefer a pilot. But yeah, if I did believe, I guess the pilot would be unnecessary. So would cops, politicians, doctors, farmers...

Though had I been in that plane I would have known that I was going to be okay. Why? Barack Obama would land that fucker!
Andrew Jamison, a passenger on the plane that landed in the river said, "God was certainly looking out for all of us." What does that mean? If GOD landed the plane safely, why praise the pilot? If GOD landed the plane, didn't he also fly the birds into the engines? I'm confused.

It's called 2,000+ years of brain-washing. As an aside, I do believe in "God," but that God has absolutely nothing to do with religion (nor does it watch over people on aircraft).
I'm glad nobody died. But watching all these wet chickens on television, clucking away about this thing, it made me think of this poem by Buk:

from Mockingbird Wish Me Luck

Americans don't know what tragedy is---
a little 6.5 earthquake can set them to chattering
like monkeys---
a piece of chinaware broken,
the Union Rescue Mission falls down---

6 a.m.
they sit in their cars
they're all driving around---
where are they going?

a little excitement has broken into their
canned lives

stranger stands next to stranger
chattering gibberish fear
anxious fear
anxious laughter ...

my baby, my flowerpots, my ceiling
my bank account

this is just a tickler
a feather
and they can't bear it ...

suppose they bombed the city
as other cities have been bombed
not with an a-bomb
but with ordinary blockbusters
day after day,
every day
as has happened
in other cities of the world?

if the rest of the world could see you today
their laughter would bring the sun to its knees
and even the flowers would leap from the ground
like bulldogs
and chase you away to where you belong
wherever that is,
and who cares where it is
as long as it's somewhere away from
I guess the only difference I see is that an earthquake is mother nature yawning, screaming, doing what she does. Proximity = victim. While an airplane crash (even with all survivors, thank Jah) is a manmade calamity "” even if the birds weren't genetically engineered. No plane, boarding passes, no crash. Just birds flying by, through the beautiful blue polluted air.
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In the cold November rain, I've wondered how Chewy's parents taught it how to speak? And what Chewy's alphabet consisted of? Letters, or just groans and grunts?
I don't mean to be a dick (it just comes naturally), but the pilot shouldn't get an award for doing his job. He's supposed to land safely when there's an emergency.

But things have become so bad, and people are so inept, that we're amazed when someone actually does their job. Seriously. I watch This Old House on TV and I want to weep just because all those guys are competent. It looks beautiful, but they are just doing what they are supposed to do. But trying to find a contractor here in Los Angeles that knows which end of the hammer to hit the nail with is goddamn near impossible!

Sorry. Carry on. I was just being a brittle cunt.
I don't mean to be a dick (it just comes naturally), but the pilot shouldn't get an award for doing his job. He's supposed to land safely when there's an emergency.

While what you say is true in many applications, performing what he did is nothing short of brilliant. No miracles, no divine intervention; just a controlled descent into water that is considered to be one of the most demanding contingencies (i.e., really freaking rare big old fucking problem) ever conveyed upon a pilot.

Just sayin'. In this case, the pilot did his job better than many could, in my opinion.
But those ~150 people have no objectivity. And the media may, but they know better than to show it. It's been over-hyped for all of the wrong reasons. Typical shit. Too often the media hypes aircraft issues; this one is way beyond the issues that get hyped.

Bottom line is that a pilot not only did his job, but did it in one of the most demanding situations envisioned, and did it, by all accounts, perfectly. Not just a good job, but an above-board, we-don't-go-over-the-water-landing-more-than-once in scheduled pilot training kind of way. Not to mention with all engines out.

And not just the pilot; from all reports, the entire flight crew made it possible for all to be rescued despite the typical selfish elbows that humanity throws about when instinct kicks in.
Well, it was his job to keep those 150 people safe, that's all I'm saying.

No one knows how all of the other pilots in the world would do if they had to land a commercial jet in a river because they have never had to do it. Maybe they would all make the same landing. Or maybe 99% of them would. Maybe this guy was also very lucky. If the current was choppy and the plane had flipped on impact and the wings tore off, but everyone still survived, would they still be polishing a halo for him? You know, if he did everything exactly the same way he did yesterday, but the river reacted differently?

Maybe it's heroic for a pilot to go to work every day, but once you've made the decision to go into an extraordinary line of work, I think it's reasonable to expect extraordinary performance. If a firefighter rescues people from a burning building, isn't he doing his job? Yeah, it's a heroic and dangerous job sometimes, but that's why they don't let cowardly jerkoffs like me do it. "I don't know man, that fire looks bad. Think I'll sit this one out. Yell if you need me."

Maybe I'm an idiot, I never rule that out, but I'll bet that if/when they get to interview the pilot he'll say the same thing, that he was just doing his job, and they were all very lucky.

To me a hero is someone who does an extraordinary thing in the face of a crisis or tragedy when they could have just as easily stood by and done nothing. The people in that airplane on 9/11 who bum rushed the hijackers, knowing that the odds were they were all going to die in the process were heroes. I mean, they were all going to die anyway, they already knew that, but they could very easily have sat there and done nothing, and let those assholes fly the plane into the White House (which may not have been a bad thing actually, but unfortunately Bush wasn't there at the time).

Okay, now I've probably gone too far. Someone stop me before I alienate the last two people who don't already hate me...
Well, it was his job to keep those 150 people safe, that's all I'm saying.
His job to keep them safe in all reasonably foreseeable situations. That's what flight training is designed to do. 99% of pilots probably don't even go through these unlikely scenarios. All I'm saying (and you're not an idiot), is that this was not reasonably foreseeable as the FAA sees it.

Both engines out, 3,000 feet of potential energy, and limited training in such a scenario. Call it what you like; media be damned. I call it balls of steel.

Okay, now I've probably gone too far. Someone stop me before I alienate the last two people who don't already hate me...

You built your cross; why wouldn't you put yourself upon it?
It's only a subject of conjecture.

I will say that the cold, calm weather played well into the needs of the pilot in command (not so good for the passengers on the wing, but hell, they made it). That makes it easier to bring a controlled decent into water. Keep in mind that he was dead-sticking (no engine power, no real control) a 160,000 lb glider into an urban river.

Your question should be posed to a group of pilots from US Airways, Delta, Northwest, Continental, American, AirTran, Southwest, and other carriers.

All I offer is my opinion, which is based on having been raised in a family with a Father who designed aircraft engine turbines (and loved to answer all of our questions) and a life-long interest in aircraft in general, including a long-term residency researching aircraft issues on Back when it had its shit together, that is.
Fair enough. But what would a pilot with regular balls have done?

Suppose it comes under the heading of "right stuff", all that air jockey machismo. The guy had the years in, the experience with gliders and other types of aircraft. He had one shot to get it right and he did. Luck comes into it as well as knowledge from doing the job and caring about it. He also probably wanted to save his own ass. Most of us do.

A less experienced pilot might have tried the same approach and pulled it off exactly the same way. Who knows?

Some days, most days, I figure the bravest thing I do is get out bed to carry on with the daily bullshit.
landing a thin sheet of tinfoil going perhaps hundreds of miles per hour on a frigid splotch of narrow water surrounded by skyscrapers with plane engines afire and everyone surviving is a fucking miracle; and ranks right up there with the best piloting ever done in an in-extremis situation. balls of steel? it would certainly seem so. preservation of life? of course, including his own. a hero? depends upon one's definition. yes, in my lexicon. having been in dicey situations at the helm of a ship, from personal experience, i can tell you no simulator makes up for: get it right or die. this man did a helluva job. period.
The Danish pilot Stefan Rasmussen, who himself landed an airliner on a field outside Stockholm, Sweden in 1991, after the engines set out (all 129 people aboard was saved), said on local TV today that the Hudson river landing was an amazing feat, because you have to glide just over the surface of the river at a speed not over about 200 kilometers per hour, before you attempt a landing, and that's not easy to get away with, nor is any pilot really prepared for such a landing.

Here's a bit about Rasmussen's crash landing:
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Perhaps we could agree that the pilot did his job... very, very well... some luck may have come into it... skill also... and that a medal (or some such), while more than a little crass under the circumstances, might represent the gratitude of the 150 passengers, the airline company and the home and business owners whose dwellings the plane did not destroy.

Also... official recognition of the pilots efforts (while doing the job he is paid to do) may have something to do with the USA's (in general) and New York city's (specifically) desire to locate/recognise/invent heroes while still recovering from the tragedies of 9/11.

Hell, when I heard the news, I just thought 'what great day to be alive for the passengers and crew!' Can you imagine what the rest of their day (and week) was like... walking around just thinking "I'm alive!"

Good luck to them :)
Cheers! That pilot did his job very well with nerves of steel. Great! Everyone is alive.
Let's celebrate... Minutes after , he was sipping a coffee and had actually given the shirt off his back to someone who was cold.

I also agree that a hero who is actually saving lives is acting on impulse, saving life is what it is.
A reflection of your own , that you are about to lose .

Joseph Campbell describes 'the hero' better than anyone on a double dvd called 'The Power of Myth', 6 hours of discussions with Bill Moyers.
Procrastinator turned me on to that, thanks.
Yes, "Power of Myth" is cool. I was flabbergasted that public tv put that on years ago. And then it really caught on, which also surprised me. I guess people were ready to understand that "myth" is just what you call someone's religion you don't believe in, and "religion" is what you call the myth you believe in. Of course got the book, and then all of the other Campbell books. Mircea Eliade and Jung are also cool.
yes, the pilot was only doing his job, but it was something he had only ever done in theory.

surgeons get to practice on corpses, but pilots don't get a practical exam where they can crash land on water.

that being said, if this water landing had happened on the Atlantic or Pacific ocean, people would've died. the plane would've probably sunk before everyone got out. it was lucky to land on the Hudson, where New Yorkers were willing to make rafts, find rafts and boats to get people out of that plane.

good job all around.
Seems like a pretty hard thing to do to me, and I would say he's a hero.

The only person I would compare him to is, another hero of mine, MJP for creating the Buk forum. Another amazing feat.
Oh, come on!

Everyone knows that this is much more heroic than landing a plane. A monkey could do that. It was probably on autopilot.
Believe it or not, I agree with the boss on this one. There's nothing heroic about what the pilot did. He just did his job and was lucky/skilled enough to save 150 people. But as Digney said, he probably was trying to save his own ass.

You know, he had to try to safely land on water. He couldn't count on God, could he? So he had to do it, and he did it. What's heroic about that? He performed extremely well, but was that heroic?

Now, just for the sake of argument, let's say that commercial airliner was equipped with that cool thing you see pilots use in fighter planes (in a movie, I mean). When the fighter is about to crash, they push a button and off they go with the parachute. I wonder if this hero we're talking about would have pushed the "magical" button if he had had the chance to do so. You know: "Sorry, mothers, but there's nothing I can do anyway. Goodbye and good luck. I'm off to the skies." Or would he have tried to land on water despite everything, knowing he could save his ass by pushing that button? Yeah, nobody knows the answer to that, but that would have been heroic to me.
Yeah, we have as a people have a bad habit of calling people heroes a lot more than was warranted. A hero is someone who puts himself in harms way, knowing that it may kill him (or her), but does it anyway to save someone else. Getting killed by accident does not make you a hero. This can be taken to the absurd: A few years ago, two Capital police were killed by a gunman in the US Capitol. They were both surprised and one was giving a tourist info when he was shot, point blank, in the back of the head. People called him a hero. What? He had one of the safest police jobs out there. He never saw it coming and did nothing heroic. Is giving directions heroic? If he died of a massive aneurysm while giving directions would that have been "heroic"?

Dying is not heroic. Dying while trying to save someone else is not heroic, unless the hero knows that they are in real danger.

mjp mentioned the people on the flight that crashed in PA on 9/11. I can appreciate what they did, but I do not know if I would call that heroic. Maybe I'm an ass for saying it, but they tried to take control of the plane from the terrorists because they knew that they would surely die if they did not. They were trying to save themselves. In the struggle, the terrorist pilot crashed the plane into the ground. It is borderline, but in the end they knew that it was the only chance for them to live and they took a chance. Now, if the terrorists said that they could all parachute out and that they were then going to fly the plane into the White House and they still resisted, then that would have been heroic.

The pilot is a good pilot, not a hero. Cirerita is right. Is he had an eject button and he really thought that they were all gonna die, the Hudson pilot probably would have pushed the button.


p.s. mjp mentioned the
The pilot kept his cool in a very dangerous situation. Most people choke under pressure, he did not. So he is above average.

The ejection seat I sat in on a B-52 would not operate properly at speeds under 220 knots. In training it was pretty much a fact of life that a B-52 and most jets cannot be ditched with any success. Is that where the saying Last Ditch Effort comes from?
He could have been lucky but he was certainly cool under fire.
Sure, and as I said before, he performed extremely well. Is that heroic?

The ejection seat comparison was completely fictional, of course, but I think it brings up an interesting related topic: how do we react when there's a choice? The pilot had no choice but trying to land on water as safely as possible, and that he did. If that airliner had functional ejection seats, would he have reacted the way he did?

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