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Down. - Tina Marie's Ramblings
Red hair and black leather, my favorite colour scheme...
skywhisperer
skywhisperer
Down.
US Airways just landed an A320 in the Hudson. Preliminary reports say "bird strike(s)", "lost both engines", "landed smoothly". FAA is saying no fatalities.

That's one a heck of a great piloting job - to land an A320, more or less safely, in the Hudson, in January, with no engines. It'll be interesting to see what the NTSB has to say.

(thanks to respice for the pointer)
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Comments
greeneyedsadie From: greeneyedsadie Date: January 15th, 2009 09:48 pm (UTC) (Link)
I know! It was at 48th street in Manhattan! Not to hit any buildings and to save the lives of everyone aboard is great. I'm impressed.
macavite From: macavite Date: January 15th, 2009 09:55 pm (UTC) (Link)
I second that, giant amounts of kudos to the cockpit crew. That situation could have been so tragic, and instead we have the best possible outcome.
sandman008 From: sandman008 Date: January 16th, 2009 12:43 am (UTC) (Link)
Well, second-best. Any landing you can walk (or swim) away from is a good one, but this one wasn't at the intended destination.
skywhisperer From: skywhisperer Date: January 16th, 2009 02:04 am (UTC) (Link)
And they're not going to be able to use the plane again.
kathygnome From: kathygnome Date: January 16th, 2009 01:59 am (UTC) (Link)
I seem to remember reading articles about how that was impossible.
skywhisperer From: skywhisperer Date: January 16th, 2009 02:03 am (UTC) (Link)
It's supposed to be impossible. Any off-airport landing of a transport category jet is supposed to be impossible to do with no fatalities. I don't believe it's ever been done.

On the water is even harder.

Bet the pilot's going to need major surgery to extract the seat cushion from his rear, though. :)
greeneyedsadie From: greeneyedsadie Date: January 16th, 2009 02:19 pm (UTC) (Link)
According to Bloomberg in his press conference yesterday the pilot made sure everyone was off and then made two slow passes up and down the aisle to make sure everyone was gone before getting off the plane. I just find that dedication to his job and his responsibility very touching. Watch...it'll come out in a couple of weeks that he's a child fucking perv or something, hahahaha.
acelightning From: acelightning Date: January 16th, 2009 05:06 am (UTC) (Link)
yeah, that was some fantastic flying! apparently it went the way the emergency card implies that water landings should go, but never actually do. all the witnesses say that the pilot brought it in just as if it were a regular landing, with the nose up a bit, and just laid it down on the water. now, that would be amazing enough - but the Hudson River isn't very wide, and is usually full of boats, and there are tall buildings on both sides. that pilot deserves a medal!

i see from later reports that, after both engines inhaled geese and quit, he was trying to make it to Teterboro. if he'd had just a little more altitude, he might have made it.

damn shame the plane sank, though. the last i had heard, they had some tugboats trying to pull it to a dock or something. (maybe they can bring it up with the kind of air bags they use to raise wrecked ships?)




greeneyedsadie From: greeneyedsadie Date: January 16th, 2009 02:16 pm (UTC) (Link)
They did exactly that. The Coast Guard added floats to it and it's currently tied to a dock for the NTSB to go over it.
greeneyedsadie From: greeneyedsadie Date: January 16th, 2009 02:15 pm (UTC) (Link)
Hey TM, do you think the fact that the pilot was a trainer in gliders helped him land the plane with no engine? I would think so.
skywhisperer From: skywhisperer Date: January 16th, 2009 04:32 pm (UTC) (Link)
That's interesting, because the last successful landing of a plane with no running engines (Air Canada 143) was also a glider pilot.

It might have helped, but no glider flies anything like an A320 with both engines out, so only the basic skills would have transferred - correctly judging your angle of glide, choosing a safe landing spot - and every pilot is trained to do those things even in non-gliders. He probably spends more time doing them then most, though.

I've actually flown along the Hudson there, and I've had a ton of conversations about what I would do if the engine failed, and the only real answer there is "put it in the Hudson". There's just no other viable landing spot there.
alioth1 From: alioth1 Date: January 21st, 2009 07:23 pm (UTC) (Link)
Actually, Air Canada has had ANOTHER one run out of fuel since then, over the Atlantic! This time it was not failure to load the correct quantity of fuel, but a fault on the aircraft that resulted in most of the fuel getting pumped overboard and no one noticed till it was almost all gone.

They landed at the Portuguese islands (whose name escapes me at the moment) in the middle of the Atlantic, after gliding powerless for some miles.

alioth1 From: alioth1 Date: January 18th, 2009 04:11 pm (UTC) (Link)
You've probably read already that he's a CFI-G..that and a great presence of mind resulted in a successful outcome.

As for off airport landings with no fatals in a transport category jet, it has been achieved before. IIRC a B737 made a forced landing on a grass topped levee, and wasn't even damaged (it was flown off the levee again). Don't forget the Gimli Glider, although I suppose strictly speaking it did land on an airfield even if the nosewheel did get collapsed by the armco barrier it hit down the middle of the former runway. British Airways also had a B777 a year ago that didn't make the runway after a double engine failure. Although it ended up within the airfield boundary, it landed in the grass very heavily and never made it onto an actual runway. So long as the angle of arrival isn't too steep, and it lands on flat open terrain, everyone should have a good chance of getting out alive.

There have been other transport jets that have landed in water, too, with no loss of life. A B707 went down in Lake Victoria in Africa, well, not so much went down - a botched approach meant the crew flew a perfectly good airplane into the lake rather than the airport, and they all walked (like the A320, the aircraft remained intact and afloat for a while). There's some pics of it on the net somewhere.
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