US Air Plane Down in the Hudson River (1 Viewer)

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Paul Wozniak

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Oct 26, 2005
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Just incredible! That pilot has nerves of steel. Don't think I've ever heard of a plane this size coming down, (in the water, to boot), and everyone walks away.
 

BobMurdoch

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Sep 12, 2003
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Here's something I wrote on my facebook page.... The whole event inspired by inner romantic....

The Day a Plane Crash Became the Feel Good Story of the New Year
http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1577912703&ref=profile#

George Bush holds a press conference yesterday in a last ditch attempt to try and salvage his good name in the history books. It all boils down to one image he wants to get out there: the "homeland" hasn't been attacked since that fateful day in 2001 when among other events, two planes flew way below where they were supposed to be and crashed into the heart of New York's Economic epicenter. Yesterday, eyewitnesses on the upper west side of Manhattan felt an emotional punch in the gut, as the image of a plane swooping a mere 900 ft. over the George Washington Bridge made many wonder for a few moments if our enemies were going to spite George Bush and take away the one positive achievement he still had left in his final week in office.

But that initial instinct was wrong. It is estimated that a flock of Canadian Geese, which can reach from 7 to 20 lbs. EACH, flew in front of the plane mere seconds after liftoff, and got sucked into both of the Airbus A320 plane's engines, crippling her. The pilot, Captain Chesley B. "Sully" Sullenberger III (I'm sure many NY restaurants will soon have a SullenBurger on their menu) radioed the tower that he had a double bird strike and needed clearance for an emergency landing. The tower told him to divert to Teterboro Airport in New Jersey, about 10 miles "as the crow flies" from his position. As his altitude was just over 3000 ft. and he had little or no thrust from his engines, he evidently made a decision mere seconds later, to choose an alternate runway....

The Hudson River.

As most pilots will tell you, when you have an engine failure, everything boils down to a trade between air speed and altitude. You need to maintain a certain speed to keep some semblance of steering available to you, so he sacrificed altitude to keep it, turning an 81 ton airplane into a glider. An Ethiopian Airlines plane that was hijacked in 1996 tried a similar water landing, and killed 71% of the people on board when they hit the water at the wrong angle. However, Captain Sully was skillful as he perfectly bled off speed and brought the plane in at just the right angle, but still hitting the water hard enough to send seawater 100 ft. into the air. Just prior to the waterlanding, the flight crew flicks a unique Airbus feature switch, known as the "ditch switch" which seals off many compartments in an attempt to keep the plane from taking on too much water too quickly. As anyone who has seen the Titanic movie can tell you, 5-10 minutes in the icy North Atlantic water is all that is needed to kill you, so these precious minutes were needed.

Meanwhile, a captain of a New York Waterways ferry sees the plane hit the water and radios it in, immediately diverting from its planned route to race to the scene at least 15 minutes before any other first responders can get there. The company runs back and forth between New Jersey and New York constantly, and normally has about a dozen ferries in the water at this time of day. One of these ferries is named after Fred Marone, a senior officer in the Port Authority and friend of our family who lost his life on 9/11 when he came from miles away to charge into the buildings to try and rescue people before one of the Twin Towers collapsed on top of him and so many others. I'm sure somewhere he is smiling as his namesake probably rushed in to save lives as we know he would have if he could. Within 90 seconds, the plane had emptied out all of its passengers into life rafts and onto the wings as they stood in ankle and knee deep waters, leeching away critical life sustaining body heat. Many must have wondered that they might have survived the plane crash to only lose their lives freezing to death. However, the ferries came rushing up, with their crew members frantically digging out life preservers, hats, and blankets as well as equipment they use for "man overboard" emergencies. Drilled relentlessly by their leaders for water rescue scenarios like this, everything goes like clockwork as a dozen ferries surround the boats, and soon some Circle Line tour boats join the battle with time as well. Hypothermia and frostbite are still major concerns as the coldest day of the year so far had driven down wind chill levels to below zero fahrenheit. New York City's Fire, Police, First Aid, and other first responders arrive on the scene and quickly begin shuffling survivors around to various hospitals. City Divers in wet suits voluntarily jump into the water to help speed up the process and secure the plane from sinking any further. They would eventually tow it over to Battery Park's docks and secure it like you would any other water based vessel with ropes, until a crane could be in position to begin lifting it out of the river the following morning.

While this is all going on, the Captain is searching the plane for anyone left on board. Water at the back of the plane has risen above the top of the seatbacks at the rear of the plane. He is the last to leave.

Redefining the word hero, he has gotten EVERYONE out alive.

Everyone.

Faced with a million to one shot double bird strike on his engines, the coldest day of the year, and icy lethal waters, he made all the right choices with precision and nerves of steel, something he probably learned while flying F-4s for the Air Force 30+ years earlier in his career. The plane was doomed, but through his efforts, no living soul was going to lose their life this day. One passenger had two broken legs from the impact, and several other passengers had significant injuries, but none of them are considered life threatening. Many uninjured passengers, showing courage themselves, got right back on other planes later on in the evening and headed to their destinations, albeit a little more white knuckled on the armrests until 10 minutes into their flights.

I'm sure Captain Sully was joined in this herculean effort by his co-pilot and the flight crew, who managed to maintain calm and get the plane emptied quickly, while keeping traumatized passengers focused on the ultimate goal of getting everyone out safely.

New York's Governor Patterson would soon give a name that will best describe this incident in the history books: The Miracle on the Hudson. As the day began, I'm sure most of the media outlets had planned to run Bush's press conference as the lead story. On this day, another plane flying below the building lines in New York would yank him off center stage just as effectively as the last pair to do so thrust him upon it just over 7 years ago.

Once again, the city that never sleeps can stand tall with pride today. For a city with a bullseye on its back, perpetually waiting for the other shoe to fall, they responded with speed and professionalism, with a strong assist from Captain Sully and his flight crew. They all turned a day that SHOULD have been another in a long line of depressing headlines for this economy ravaged city into one of their finest moments. For 150 passengers, the air will be more invigorating today, the food will taste a little better, as they realize how close they were to leaving this Earth.

For the rest of us, who were glued to the news last night, it was a reminder that heroes still walk among us.

For many of us, it was a way to share vicarious joy with those families who WOULD see all their family members again. A plane crash has brought many Americans great joy this day. Call it luck, call it fate, call it faith, it doesn't matter. A miracle has happened several hundred feet WEST of 34th street. We don't have Santa Claus to thank this time around, but we have another grey haired guy named Sully to thank, as well as all the other civil servants and ferry boat crews that showed heart, courage, and skill on this day.

And somehow, even in these difficult times, we all feel just a little bit better about the world.



The doomed plane's flight route.
 

BobMurdoch

Playing XBoxOne SeriesX/Supporter
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Sep 12, 2003
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Brielle, NJ
Thanks. For some reason, this story REALLY grabbed hold of my gut. I'm a sucker for a good miracle every now and then....
 

navychop

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Jul 20, 2005
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The current was really moving that sucker. Good skippering, getting people off without bumping the plane and knocking a few into the water.
 

BobMurdoch

Playing XBoxOne SeriesX/Supporter
Supporting Founder
Sep 12, 2003
5,770
190
Brielle, NJ
Contrary to reports that he shot water 100 ft. in the air, he barely made a splash. Simply amazing.... Like skipping a rock across a lake, the plane settled in fairly gently considering he was doing 170 miles an hour when he hit....

I hear Capt. Sully and his family have been invited to the inauguration. In a nation filled with way too much bad news lately, his was the much needed dose of good news that this country needed.....
 

BobMurdoch

Playing XBoxOne SeriesX/Supporter
Supporting Founder
Sep 12, 2003
5,770
190
Brielle, NJ
I wrote this on my facebook page that day... Best thing I ever wrote.... Inspiration will do that....

[h=2]The Day a Plane Crash Became the Feel Good Story of the New Year[/h]
January 16, 2009 at 11:29am
George Bush holds a press conference yesterday in a last ditch attempt to try and salvage his good name in the history books. It all boils down to one image he wants to get out there: the "homeland" hasn't been attacked since that fateful day in 2001 when among other events, two planes flew way below where they were supposed to be and crashed into the heart of New York's Economic epicenter. Yesterday, eyewitnesses on the upper west side of Manhattan felt an emotional punch in the gut, as the image of a plane swooping a mere 900 ft. over the George Washington Bridge made many wonder for a few moments if our enemies were going to spite George Bush and take away the one positive achievement he still had left in his final week in office.

But that initial instinct was wrong. It is estimated that a flock of Canadian Geese, which can reach from 7 to 20 lbs. EACH, flew in front of the plane mere seconds after liftoff, and got sucked into both of the Airbus A320 plane's engines, crippling her. The pilot, Captain Chesley B. "Sully" Sullenberger III (I'm sure many NY restaurants will soon have a SullenBurger on their menu) radioed the tower that he had a double bird strike and needed clearance for an emergency landing. The tower told him to divert to Teterboro Airport in New Jersey, about 10 miles "as the crow flies" from his position. As his altitude was just over 3000 ft. and he had little or no thrust from his engines, he evidently made a decision mere seconds later, to choose an alternate runway....

The Hudson River.

As most pilots will tell you, when you have an engine failure, everything boils down to a trade between air speed and altitude. You need to maintain a certain speed to keep some semblance of steering available to you, so he sacrificed altitude to keep it, turning an 81 ton airplane into a glider. An Ethiopian Airlines plane that was hijacked in 1996 tried a similar water landing, and killed 71% of the people on board when they hit the water at the wrong angle. However, Captain Sully was skillful as he perfectly bled off speed and brought the plane in at just the right angle, but still hitting the water hard enough to send seawater 100 ft. into the air. Just prior to the waterlanding, the flight crew flicks a unique Airbus feature switch, known as the "ditch switch" which seals off many compartments in an attempt to keep the plane from taking on too much water too quickly. As anyone who has seen the Titanic movie can tell you, 5-10 minutes in the icy North Atlantic water is all that is needed to kill you, so these precious minutes were needed.

Meanwhile, a captain of a New York Waterways ferry sees the plane hit the water and radios it in, immediately diverting from its planned route to race to the scene at least 15 minutes before any other first responders can get there. The company runs back and forth between New Jersey and New York constantly, and normally has about a dozen ferries in the water at this time of day. One of these ferries is named after Fred Marone, a senior officer in the Port Authority and friend of our family who lost his life on 9/11 when he came from miles away to charge into the buildings to try and rescue people before one of the Twin Towers collapsed on top of him and so many others. I'm sure somewhere he is smiling as his namesake probably rushed in to save lives as we know he would have if he could. Within 90 seconds, the plane had emptied out all of its passengers into life rafts and onto the wings as they stood in ankle and knee deep waters, leeching away critical life sustaining body heat. Many must have wondered that they might have survived the plane crash to only lose their lives freezing to death. However, the ferries came rushing up, with their crew members frantically digging out life preservers, hats, and blankets as well as equipment they use for "man overboard" emergencies. Drilled relentlessly by their leaders for water rescue scenarios like this, everything goes like clockwork as a dozen ferries surround the boats, and soon some Circle Line tour boats join the battle with time as well. Hypothermia and frostbite are still major concerns as the coldest day of the year so far had driven down wind chill levels to below zero fahrenheit. New York City's Fire, Police, First Aid, and other first responders arrive on the scene and quickly begin shuffling survivors around to various hospitals. City Divers in wet suits voluntarily jump into the water to help speed up the process and secure the plane from sinking any further. They would eventually tow it over to Battery Park's docks and secure it like you would any other water based vessel with ropes, until a crane could be in position to begin lifting it out of the river the following morning.

While this is all going on, the Captain is searching the plane for anyone left on board. Water at the back of the plane has risen above the top of the seatbacks at the rear of the plane. He is the last to leave.

Redefining the word hero, he has gotten EVERYONE out alive.

Everyone.

Faced with a million to one shot double bird strike on his engines, the coldest day of the year, and icy lethal waters, he made all the right choices with precision and nerves of steel, something he probably learned while flying F-4s for the Air Force 30+ years earlier in his career. The plane was doomed, but through his efforts, no living soul was going to lose their life this day. One passenger had two broken legs from the impact, and several other passengers had significant injuries, but none of them are considered life threatening. Many uninjured passengers, showing courage themselves, got right back on other planes later on in the evening and headed to their destinations, albeit a little more white knuckled on the armrests until 10 minutes into their flights.

I'm sure Captain Sully was joined in this herculean effort by his co-pilot and the flight crew, who managed to maintain calm and get the plane emptied quickly, while keeping traumatized passengers focused on the ultimate goal of getting everyone out safely.

New York's Governor Patterson would soon give a name that will best describe this incident in the history books: The Miracle on the Hudson. As the day began, I'm sure most of the media outlets had planned to run Bush's press conference as the lead story. On this day, another plane flying below the building lines in New York would yank him off center stage just as effectively as the last pair to do so thrust him upon it just over 7 years ago.

Once again, the city that never sleeps can stand tall with pride today. For a city with a bullseye on its back, perpetually waiting for the other shoe to fall, they responded with speed and professionalism, with a strong assist from Captain Sully and his flight crew. They all turned a day that SHOULD have been another in a long line of depressing headlines for this economy ravaged city into one of their finest moments. For 150 passengers, the air will be more invigorating today, the food will taste a little better, as they realize how close they were to leaving this Earth.

For the rest of us, who were glued to the news last night, it was a reminder that heroes still walk among us.

For many of us, it was a way to share vicarious joy with those families who WOULD see all their family members again. A plane crash has brought many Americans great joy this day. Call it luck, call it fate, call it faith, it doesn't matter. A miracle has happened several hundred feet WEST of 34th street. We don't have Santa Claus to thank this time around, but we have another grey haired guy named Sully to thank, as well as all the other civil servants and ferry boat crews that showed heart, courage, and skill on this day.

And somehow, even in these difficult times, we all feel just a little bit better about the world.
 
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