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#163310 - 01/15/09 08:20 PM Airplane Down In The Hudson River
Jesselp Offline
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Registered: 07/19/07
Posts: 254
Loc: New York
A US Airways flight out of NY just ditched in the Hudson River with about 150 people on board.

I'm looking out my window at NY Harbor and watching the USCG, NYPD harbor units, and ferries rushing to the rescue.

Local news is reporting that the plane hit a flock of geese and did a controlled "landing" in the water when the pilot determined he was not going to make it to the airport.

I'm sure there'll be a lot to learn, but for now, let's say a prayer for the passengers, crew, and rescuers.
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#163312 - 01/15/09 08:28 PM Re: Airplane Down In The Hudson River [Re: Jesselp]
wildman800 Offline
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Registered: 11/09/06
Posts: 2432
Loc: La-USA
151 pax & crew (5), no deaths, tugboats went to the rescue, USCG is on scene.

One very good textbook water emergency landing,,,

BZ to the crew!!!

P.S. an unquantified number of Geese died in the production of this incident.
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The best luck is what you make yourself!

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#163314 - 01/15/09 08:31 PM Re: Airplane Down In The Hudson River [Re: wildman800]
IzzyJG99 Offline
Geezer

Registered: 02/05/05
Posts: 5035
The amusing thing is they just celebrated 2 years without a signal commercial airline casualty.

Glad to hear that so far they are reporting no deaths. I would say the near freezing water helped the landing. Cold the water the more dense and the more like a runway. Anyone who has waterskied knows that well. Major kudos to the pilot who I suspect kept calm and let his training take over. Major kudos also to the flight crew who did their jobs well no doubt.

This is a pretty big miracle, I should say.
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#163317 - 01/15/09 08:52 PM Re: Airplane Down In The Hudson River [Re: IzzyJG99]
wildman800 Offline
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Registered: 11/09/06
Posts: 2432
Loc: La-USA
Darn those Geese!!!!!
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QMC, USCG (Ret)
The best luck is what you make yourself!

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#163318 - 01/15/09 08:53 PM Re: Airplane Down In The Hudson River [Re: wildman800]
Stu Offline
I am not a P.P.o.W.
Old Hand

Registered: 05/16/05
Posts: 1058
Loc: Finger Lakes of NY State
Originally Posted By: wildman800
Darn those Geese!!!!!

Christmas Dinner a bit late grin
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#163319 - 01/15/09 08:55 PM Re: Airplane Down In The Hudson River [Re: Stu]
Kris Offline
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Registered: 04/13/07
Posts: 623
Loc: A Canadian in the UK
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#163322 - 01/15/09 09:07 PM Re: Airplane Down In The Hudson River [Re: Jesselp]
Jesselp Offline
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Registered: 07/19/07
Posts: 254
Loc: New York
Local news is now reporting that all passengers and crew are fully accounted for. The pilot was the last one off the plane, and made sure all the passengers were off.

Sounds like he did a good job. (understatement of the day)

Many people in local hospitals for exposure issues and some bumps and strains. Temperatures are reported as 35 degrees in the water, air temperature of about 18 degrees.

It appears that very few people, if any, actually wound up in the water. One passenger reported that by the time he got to the front door, there was a ferry right outside of the plane and he was able to just climb on board.
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#163323 - 01/15/09 09:07 PM Re: Airplane Down In The Hudson River [Re: Stu]
Desperado Offline
Veteran

Registered: 11/01/08
Posts: 1516
Loc: DFW, Texas
Originally Posted By: SBRaider
Originally Posted By: wildman800
Darn those Geese!!!!!

Christmas Dinner a bit late grin


The Foie Gras probably has a smokey, kerosene taste once it comes out the back of a Rolls Royce turbo fan.
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#163331 - 01/15/09 10:34 PM Re: Airplane Down In The Hudson River [Re: Desperado]
snoman Offline
Member

Registered: 09/22/02
Posts: 181
Originally Posted By: Desperado
The Foie Gras probably has a smokey, kerosene taste once it comes out the back of a Rolls Royce turbo fan.

LMAO! grin

How about a big "Well Done" to the flight crew! Very happy to hear everyone walked away!

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#163332 - 01/15/09 10:41 PM Re: Airplane Down In The Hudson River [Re: Jesselp]
IzzyJG99 Offline
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Registered: 02/05/05
Posts: 5035
Originally Posted By: Jesselp
Local news is now reporting that all passengers and crew are fully accounted for. The pilot was the last one off the plane, and made sure all the passengers were off.

Sounds like he did a good job. (understatement of the day)

Many people in local hospitals for exposure issues and some bumps and strains. Temperatures are reported as 35 degrees in the water, air temperature of about 18 degrees.

It appears that very few people, if any, actually wound up in the water. One passenger reported that by the time he got to the front door, there was a ferry right outside of the plane and he was able to just climb on board.


From what I have read and seen the inflatable ramps did a perfect job as rafts. Fox News said that very few of the 150 or so passengers showed any signs of being wet, but those who were wet were shaking. Like we all know...3 minutes in that water and you're gonna be a human fudgesickle.

It was either incredible luck or damn smart thinking on the part of the pilot that they landed right near the USS Intrepid (Where Coast Guard is at often) and next to the Ferry Terminals.
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#163334 - 01/15/09 11:06 PM Re: Airplane Down In The Hudson River [Re: IzzyJG99]
scafool Offline
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Registered: 12/18/08
Posts: 1534
Loc: Muskoka
Everybody walked off the plane so somebody did something right.
I hope they are looking at what worked as well as what went wrong when they investigate it.

I was wondering a couple of days ago what you could do to reduce the risk of getting seriously injured or slightly killed on a commercial flight if it crashed.
Should that be a new thread?
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#163337 - 01/15/09 11:25 PM Re: Airplane Down In The Hudson River [Re: scafool]
MoBOB Offline
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Registered: 09/17/07
Posts: 1139
Loc: here
Slightly killed?
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#163341 - 01/16/09 12:03 AM Re: Airplane Down In The Hudson River [Re: MoBOB]
IzzyJG99 Offline
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Registered: 02/05/05
Posts: 5035
Originally Posted By: MoBOB
Slightly killed?


I think that's when you say "Am I dead?" and pat down everything and then say "No, I'm alive." That brief moment is when you are slightly dead. Lol.
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#163343 - 01/16/09 12:15 AM Re: Airplane Down In The Hudson River [Re: Jesselp]
Nicodemus Offline
Paranoid?
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Registered: 10/30/05
Posts: 1341
Loc: Virginia, US
I was glad to her that they all passengers and crew members survived.

What a fantastic job by the flight crew, and the rescuers.
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#163346 - 01/16/09 12:33 AM Re: Airplane Down In The Hudson River [Re: Nicodemus]
Susan Offline
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Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 5163
Loc: W. WA
A perfect water landing! He couldn't have done better if the plane had had pontoons.

This photo really says it all: http://www.nytimes.com/slideshow/2009/01/15/us/20090115-PLANECRASH_index.html

Give the pilot and crew a belt, a raise and a vacation anywhere!

Sue

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#163350 - 01/16/09 01:01 AM Re: Airplane Down In The Hudson River [Re: Susan]
scafool Offline
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Registered: 12/18/08
Posts: 1534
Loc: Muskoka
Great picture Sue.
I wonder how long it floated for. Maybe they were even able to tow it to shore before it sank.
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#163353 - 01/16/09 01:07 AM Re: Airplane Down In The Hudson River [Re: scafool]
CANOEDOGS Offline
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Registered: 02/03/07
Posts: 1701
Loc: MINNESOTA

word on the web is that the pilot is an "old pro" ex F4 pilot.
as a survival issue,contary to the the panic and trample fears that abound it seems like most people stayed fairly calm.

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#163355 - 01/16/09 01:10 AM Re: Airplane Down In The Hudson River [Re: CANOEDOGS]
MDinana Offline
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Registered: 03/08/07
Posts: 2177
Loc: Deep south... Carolina
I don't know how long it floated, but I was watching news clips. It seemed to be up for a while, because as the news program progressed, they were showing different clips. Lots of boats moving around as the plane gently settled. It was also tilted, and I wonder if, at that section of the river, the wingtip might have been resting on the bottom?

BZ to the crew is right!!

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#163356 - 01/16/09 01:29 AM Re: Airplane Down In The Hudson River [Re: CANOEDOGS]
IzzyJG99 Offline
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Registered: 02/05/05
Posts: 5035
Originally Posted By: CANOEDOGS

word on the web is that the pilot is an "old pro" ex F4 pilot.
as a survival issue,contary to the the panic and trample fears that abound it seems like most people stayed fairly calm.


28 year veteran with the airlines and they said something about a five or so year career in the Air Force. I am sure we'll find out more about him in the morning.
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#163359 - 01/16/09 01:38 AM Re: Airplane Down In The Hudson River [Re: IzzyJG99]
oldsoldier Offline
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Registered: 11/25/06
Posts: 742
Loc: MA
I REALLY hope they tout the whole crew on the news. The pilot did an amazing job getting the plane down safely, and kudos to the crew for keeping the passengers orderly. We ALL know how this could have gone; the crew of this aircraft should be commended for their bravery. Thats the stuff heros are made of, friends!
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#163360 - 01/16/09 01:39 AM Re: Airplane Down In The Hudson River [Re: IzzyJG99]
Jesselp Offline
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Registered: 07/19/07
Posts: 254
Loc: New York
I can assure you the plane never touched the bottom - the river is quite deep there as it's right where the cruise ships come in and out. In fact, the plane continued to drift south with the tide throughout the rescue. It's currently reported to be still in the water and tied up at the marina at the World Financial Center waiting for the investigators to go through it.

Big kudos should also go to the ferry captains at NY Waterway. Their main terminal is just a few blocks from where the plane went down, and they were very quick to begin a rescue operation on their own. There was also a shot of a Circle Line boat that appeared to be trying to stabilize the aircraft as it sunk lower into the water. I believe NYPD also deployed rescue swimmers from a helo very quickly - before they had boats on scene.

All in all a job well done, and a whole lot of luck. I can't imagine they cleared the George Washington Bridge by all that much on the way down. I'm sure Doug will have some interesting data to take away that might help in the future. I hope for all of us he gets to talk to the pilots and crew.
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A blog about adventure
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#163362 - 01/16/09 01:52 AM Re: Airplane Down In The Hudson River [Re: CANOEDOGS]
Am_Fear_Liath_Mor Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 08/03/07
Posts: 2981
The pilots skill probably had very little to do with getting the aircraft down and completing a successful ditching. The Airbus A320 has a very sophisticated Fly By Wire FBW care free handling computer system flight controls, which would have taken over from the pilot if any pilot error was made during the ditching. The system would have corrected any potential pilot errors during the ditching maneuver. This probably had a lot to do with achieving the minimum airspeed without stalling the aircraft for the ditching hence reducing the kinetic energy of the aircraft during the crash landing. The fact the Airbus A320 also didn't break up during the ditching is what saved these passengers lives. No doubt though the pilot will become a National hero.

It does go to show though that a airliner crash can be survivalable as long as your flying in the right airliner especially the more modern ones which have care free handling.



Edited by Am_Fear_Liath_Mor (01/16/09 01:53 AM)

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#163368 - 01/16/09 02:22 AM Re: Airplane Down In The Hudson River [Re: Am_Fear_Liath_Mor]
Russ Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 06/02/06
Posts: 3702
Loc: SOCAL
Okay. . .how does that system perform with two dead engines.

The A320 may be a great aircraft, but the pilot used that great Fly By Wire system to put the plane in the river, the system didn't do it on its own.

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#163371 - 01/16/09 02:31 AM Re: Airplane Down In The Hudson River [Re: Jesselp]
rescueguru Offline
Wanderer
Member

Registered: 09/02/06
Posts: 117
Loc: Southeastern USA
Noteworthy is the fact that FDNY & EMS played a major part as always. It appears that the Fireboat that was on station was the McKean, a retired boat used, I believe, as a museum of sorts and normally staffed by retirees, IIRC. If so, the McKean was reported to have had the plane tethered to it to prevent sinking. Kudos to all involved for averting what could have been a major tragedy and loss of life.
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#163386 - 01/16/09 03:55 AM Re: Airplane Down In The Hudson River [Re: rescueguru]
Chris Kavanaugh Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/09/01
Posts: 3824
There is a 'ditch' button that when pressed automatically closes all the various openings in the aircraft, rendering it sealed. In this case, the front exit only was used to prevent swamping from the rear. The plane remained floating at least 5 minutes before some settling began.
As for discussing survivability, lets look at the 'injuries' which were hypothermia.I am saving for a specially made survival suit for air travel. You can view it @ www.bookster1uk.com


Edited by Chris Kavanaugh (01/16/09 04:00 AM)

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#163387 - 01/16/09 04:32 AM Re: Airplane Down In The Hudson River [Re: Chris Kavanaugh]
scafool Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 12/18/08
Posts: 1534
Loc: Muskoka
Your special survival suit is an English Tweed Jacket???
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#163388 - 01/16/09 04:44 AM Re: Airplane Down In The Hudson River [Re: scafool]
Chris Kavanaugh Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/09/01
Posts: 3824
No, a three piece suit in 650 gr fabric

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#163390 - 01/16/09 04:52 AM Re: Airplane Down In The Hudson River [Re: Am_Fear_Liath_Mor]
wildman800 Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 11/09/06
Posts: 2432
Loc: La-USA
I worked a similar "landing" in Escambia Bay, Florida in May 1978. That involved a Boeing 727 in shallow water with the landing gear down.

We had 3 dead to deal with, 1 elderly lady, wearing a lifejacket, successfully egressed to then die of Cardiac Siezure; and 1 young lady (Francis Lane) and an older gentleman who both egressed from the stbd aft hatch without life jackets. The divers recovered both of them from under the stbd engine.

The belly was ripped open but the aircraft was lifted onto a barge, taken to Pensacola Naval Airstation, and repaired enough to fly out to a commercial repair facility.

In both of these instances, a towboat (in 1978) and tugboats (today), were on the scene where the "landings" occurred and they were largely responsible for the safe recovery of most of the passengers.
_________________________
QMC, USCG (Ret)
The best luck is what you make yourself!

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#163395 - 01/16/09 05:38 AM Re: Airplane Down In The Hudson River [Re: Chris Kavanaugh]
Art_in_FL Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 09/01/07
Posts: 2432
Aces for the pilots and crew.

Fly-by-wire is great but they doesn't actually fly the plane during ditching. Cruising at altitude and routine takeoffs and landings it can help with and it takes a good part of the workload off the pilots. It works to keeps the pilots from doing anything overtly stupid like exceeding the flight envelope the frame can handle.

In this case I think the pilots can take pretty much 100% of the credit for remaining calm, sizing up the situation and executing a near textbook water landing. It wouldn't have taken much for the landing to have gone in sideways, cracked up and sunk in few seconds.

While we are handing out accolades don't overlook the stewards and stewardesses. While the pilots are working the airframe they are in charge of handling the passengers. They calm them down, reassure any they can, maintain order, provide leadership at critical moments, coaching, directing, and herding the passengers to the exits and making sure none are left behind.

The ferry pilots also get credit for being alert and rendering aid in the finest maritime tradition. They didn't have to do it. Nobody forced them and it wasn't their job but when the time came they went to help any way they could. Many passengers were reported to have stepped from the wings straight onto the boats.

Good job all.



Edited by Art_in_FL (01/16/09 05:41 AM)

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#163401 - 01/16/09 11:56 AM Re: Airplane Down In The Hudson River [Re: Art_in_FL]
Mike_H Offline
ASM
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Registered: 04/04/07
Posts: 607
Loc: SE PA
Definitely a good job by all involved. That took what could have been a loss of life event and kept everyone safe. Great response by all rescue teams as well!
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#163403 - 01/16/09 12:16 PM Re: Airplane Down In The Hudson River [Re: Chris Kavanaugh]
AROTC Offline
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Registered: 05/06/04
Posts: 604
Loc: Manhattan
Well, that certainly seems to be the biggest thing you can control as a passenger. Dress for the weather and pack your jacket/coat under the seat in front of you not in the over head compartment, so you can actually get to it to take with you. You have no control over how the plane goes down and very little over how the crowd reacts. Of the items you're still allowed to carry on airplanes now, your clothing has the most potential to save your life immediately after a crash. Even if you aren't facing hypothermia, clothes can be improvised into tourniquets, bandages, slings and bindings for splints.
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#163404 - 01/16/09 12:45 PM Re: Airplane Down In The Hudson River [Re: AROTC]
ki4buc Offline
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Registered: 11/10/03
Posts: 688
Loc: Augusta, GA
Well, at least the Airbus computer didn't get in the way this time.

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#163418 - 01/16/09 02:39 PM Re: Airplane Down In The Hudson River [Re: ki4buc]
GarlyDog Offline
ŰŅŰ
Old Hand

Registered: 04/05/07
Posts: 776
Loc: The People's Republic of IL
Originally Posted By: ki4buc
Well, at least the Airbus computer didn't get in the way this time.
Probably good it wasn't running MS Windows too.
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#163419 - 01/16/09 02:43 PM Re: Airplane Down In The Hudson River [Re: Jesselp]
Arney Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 09/15/05
Posts: 2485
Loc: California
Among many amazing aspects to this story, I'm amazed at how "gentle" the crash reportedly felt. I wonder if the pilot was able to drag the smooth underbelly on the water for any distance to bleed off some speed before protrusions like the engine intakes or wing tips hit the water? And the pilot must've been able to keep the plane straight and level to minimize any sort of cart wheeling or spinning effect as the airframe finally entered the water.

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#163427 - 01/16/09 03:50 PM Re: Airplane Down In The Hudson River [Re: Arney]
comms Offline
Veteran

Registered: 07/23/08
Posts: 1502
Loc: Mesa, AZ
Listened to a report this morning that the pilot, C.B. 'Sully' was a F4 driver and has almost 30,000 hours of flight time in his life.

He is also a 'safety' instructor, glider pilot and owns his own aviation safety consulting company. He also was a safety administrator for NASA.

This is one of those situations where being over-prepared in training is a good thing.
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#163428 - 01/16/09 03:53 PM Re: Airplane Down In The Hudson River [Re: Arney]
unimogbert Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 08/10/06
Posts: 743
Loc: Colorado
The Continental off runway excursion here in Colorado suggested to me that one should only remove coat and shoes (if you do that sort of thing) on an airliner after reaching cruise altitude.
After suddenly finding yourself outside in the dark, the wind and the snow after a botched takeoff you'd certainly want your coat and boots.

Same with a water landing.

Great choice for place to put the plane and great execution. If the pilot looks old and has lots of gray hairs - THAT'S A GOOD THING!

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#163434 - 01/16/09 04:56 PM Re: Airplane Down In The Hudson River [Re: unimogbert]
OrangeJoe Offline
Newbie

Registered: 08/22/04
Posts: 38
Loc: Old Colony, USA
I wonder how many people pay attention to the instructions that come after:

"In the unlikely event of a water landing..."
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#163473 - 01/16/09 07:49 PM Re: Airplane Down In The Hudson River [Re: Stu]
OldBaldGuy Offline
Geezer

Registered: 09/30/01
Posts: 5695
Loc: Former AFB in CA, recouping fr...
If the goose went into/thru an engine, you could probably eat it with a straw. Watching out for metal slivers of course...
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#163480 - 01/16/09 09:20 PM Re: Airplane Down In The Hudson River [Re: OldBaldGuy]
Susan Offline
Geezer

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 5163
Loc: W. WA
No computer system put that bird down in a relatively crowded river without catching a wingtip on something and skewing the landing into a crash. That situation could have gone bad so easily.

Give credit where credit is due.

Sue


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#163484 - 01/16/09 09:49 PM Re: Airplane Down In The Hudson River [Re: Susan]
oldsoldier Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 11/25/06
Posts: 742
Loc: MA
Prelims with the pilot; he edged it tail end first towards the water, and, at the last minute, jinked it a little sideways, to avoid cartwheeling in. ALL pilot here, folks. I doubt the computer would jink it at the last possible moment. This guy pulled a ballsy move, used training & instincts, put the bird down intact, and saved 155 lives. AND, was the last off the plane. IMHO, this guy is hero of the year. NYC has already given the whole crew keys to the city for their heroism. Hell, even the PASSENGERS ensured each others survival, by not (overly) panicking, and following flight crew instructions.
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#163516 - 01/17/09 12:27 AM Re: Airplane Down In The Hudson River [Re: comms]
ironraven Offline
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Registered: 09/08/05
Posts: 4642
Loc: Vermont
I think I listened to the same thing comms did- I half expect to find out he's one of us, or a lurker. At this point, it does sound like he parked where he planned.

I guess he's got fan clubs starting, to. If safety, survival and preparedness folks start getting MySpace fan clubs, maybe it's just "rah-rah" for 99%, but that last 1% are the people I'm intersted.
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When a man dare not speak without malice for fear of giving insult, that is when truth starts to die. Truth is the truest freedom.

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#163526 - 01/17/09 02:27 AM Re: Airplane Down In The Hudson River [Re: Jesselp]
jshannon Offline
Addict

Registered: 02/02/03
Posts: 537
Loc: North Texas
http://www.coldwaterbootcamp.com/

Dr. Popsicle site on surviving cold water.
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#163529 - 01/17/09 02:58 AM Re: Airplane Down In The Hudson River [Re: jshannon]
scafool Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 12/18/08
Posts: 1534
Loc: Muskoka
jshannon, that is an excellent link.
I like it. Thanks.
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#163531 - 01/17/09 02:59 AM Re: Airplane Down In The Hudson River [Re: jshannon]
Chris Kavanaugh Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/09/01
Posts: 3824
A group in the UK is raising funds to raise and restore a WW2 Halifax bomber. This ship also made a textbook ditching off Scotland after a fuel system failure.
The plane is in almost perfect condition after SLOWLY sinking into cold water after staying afloat a considerable length of time.
Anyone familiar with WW2 vintage bombers knows everything is literally 'fly by wire' and in extreme manuevers the RAF flight engineer would lean over and help PULL on the control column.
Freiherr Manfred Von Richtofen's words still ring true " It's not so much the machine, as the man in the machine."
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~@=///+

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#163535 - 01/17/09 03:26 AM Re: Airplane Down In The Hudson River [Re: scafool]
Chris Kavanaugh Offline
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Registered: 02/09/01
Posts: 3824
Yes, and he was hot on the tail of future ace and famed canadian pioneer pilot 'Wop' May ( first use of an airplane to track a 'criminal' the enigmatic Albert Johnson, aka Mad Trapper of Rat River.)But on that first sortie May was in a total panic using evasive manuevers when a simple straight on escape at full throttle would have left the slower Fokker far behind his Sopwith Camel.
And then too, Richtofen was still suffering from a headwound after being shot down by a observer gunner in a RE8, the very machine many of his victories were made against.The Baron was suffering from the phenomenon of focusing only on his quarry, blind to his position and flew right into a single lucky .303 round from a australian machinegun on the ground.
So again, you learn and relearn. Sometimes the best lesson is to stay on the ground when not 100% as I am tonight (lousy cold season.)


Edited by Chris Kavanaugh (01/17/09 03:31 AM)

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#163536 - 01/17/09 03:51 AM Re: Airplane Down In The Hudson River [Re: Chris Kavanaugh]
scafool Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 12/18/08
Posts: 1534
Loc: Muskoka
Oh, sorry.
I went and deleted that post because I thought it might have seemed rude.
If I remember the comment was, "But the Red Baron died."

The pilot who shot the Baron down had the name Brown, right?

You are right about Wop May being a famous bush pilot. He is far more famous for that than narrowly escaping being killed by the infamous Manfred Von Richtofen.

(I don't think you need to put quotes around Wop May's first name.)

Our famous WWI ace was Billy Bishop.
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#163543 - 01/17/09 05:14 AM Re: Airplane Down In The Hudson River [Re: scafool]
Chris Kavanaugh Offline
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Registered: 02/09/01
Posts: 3824
Captain Roy Brown is officially credited with downing Richtofen.
Forensic investigation has pretty well proven otherwise. Brown was a very sick man, flying combat with an ulcer being 'treated' with milk and whiskey.His own report states he 'fired a short burst on a red triplane at distance." The triplane continued on it's pursuit of May for some time. Richtofen passed directly in front of several australian gunners before making a very ubrupt crash landing. Richtofen was pulled from the wreckage with facial injuries and a single .303 wound that entered his right side and tumbled in a mortal path( .303 rounds were made with hollow noses under the copper jacket to induce tumbling, much like the later 5.56/.223) A man with such a wound would have mere seconds to live, which was the case, Manfred muttering what some think was 'kaput.'
The tides of war were going badly for the british RFC, so Brown was quickly credited as much for morale and propaganda.The lesson again, it is the man. You look at these three pilot's careers, all had periods of great competency and periods when they did not: May was a few seconds from becoming # 81, Richtofen was killed through a combination of physical disability and becoming locked on one goal deep in enemy territory and Brown managed to survive the war apparently knowing when to 'back off' and not wind up ramming a slower plane with decreased reflexes (one reason he broke off his attack.)
This is the stuff books on performance and technology seldom look at, which our pilot does.


Edited by Chris Kavanaugh (01/17/09 05:23 AM)

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#163546 - 01/17/09 05:32 AM Re: Airplane Down In The Hudson River [Re: Chris Kavanaugh]
scafool Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 12/18/08
Posts: 1534
Loc: Muskoka
You might enjoy looking through the Alberta Aviation Museum Chris, if you ever get around this way.
http://albertaaviationmuseum.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=47&Itemid=41

(They have added a few planes since they took those photos.)
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#163550 - 01/17/09 09:51 AM Re: Airplane Down In The Hudson River [Re: unimogbert]
AROTC Offline
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Registered: 05/06/04
Posts: 604
Loc: Manhattan
Good advice, although from what I remember of the water landing briefing they give, you aren't supposed to wear your shoes onto the ramp/life raft. I'd still try to take them with me though.
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#163554 - 01/17/09 01:36 PM Re: Airplane Down In The Hudson River [Re: OrangeJoe]
Brangdon Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 12/12/04
Posts: 1166
Loc: Nottingham, UK
Originally Posted By: OrangeJoe
I wonder how many people pay attention to the instructions that come after:

"In the unlikely event of a water landing..."
I think this event largely illustrates something I had noticed before: that although with some incidents you get plenty of warning that you are going to crash, in many cases it happens suddenly. In this case the captain had time to tell the passengers to brace, but not to explain what "brace" means.

So you need to pay attention the first time the safety briefing is given because it may not be repeated. I suspect some of the people who ignore it, don't realise this.
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#163559 - 01/17/09 02:19 PM Re: Airplane Down In The Hudson River [Re: Am_Fear_Liath_Mor]
Eric Offline
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Registered: 09/09/06
Posts: 323
Loc: Iowa
Sorry to poke holes in a theory but the FBW systems on airbus airplanes do not know how to ditch. They are very good at keeping the airplane in a flyable condition (not stalled, not an unusual attitude, etc.) but their are no flight control modes or programs for this situation. This one goes straight to pilot skills, a pretty sturdy airframe and a whole lot of good luck.

- Eric
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#163561 - 01/17/09 02:49 PM Re: Airplane Down In The Hudson River [Re: scafool]
Be_Prepared Offline
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Registered: 12/07/04
Posts: 527
Loc: Massachusetts
Originally Posted By: scafool
The pilot who shot the Baron down had the name Brown, right?


And all these years I thought it was Snoopy... actually, being Charlie Brown's dog, might his full name have been Snoopy Brown?
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#163562 - 01/17/09 03:23 PM Re: Airplane Down In The Hudson River [Re: Be_Prepared]
Chris Kavanaugh Offline
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Registered: 02/09/01
Posts: 3824
I was associated with a R/C club many years past.
One member built a stunning Triplane.
This other member just looked at it with a gleem in his eye.
A few meetings later he had a flying doghouse with snoopy on top.
And it outflew the tripe, who's owner was very cautious with his creation.


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#163564 - 01/17/09 03:36 PM Re: Airplane Down In The Hudson River [Re: Chris Kavanaugh]
Be_Prepared Offline
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Registered: 12/07/04
Posts: 527
Loc: Massachusetts
Originally Posted By: Chris Kavanaugh
I was associated with a R/C club many years past.
One member built a stunning Triplane.
This other member just looked at it with a gleem in his eye.
A few meetings later he had a flying doghouse with snoopy on top.
And it outflew the tripe, who's owner was very cautious with his creation.


ok Chris... were you behind the controls for the "stunning Triplane" or the "flying Doghouse"?
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#163582 - 01/17/09 05:15 PM Re: Airplane Down In The Hudson River [Re: Be_Prepared]
Nicodemus Offline
Paranoid?
Veteran

Registered: 10/30/05
Posts: 1341
Loc: Virginia, US
In the nick of time a hero arose a funny lookin' dog with a big black nose...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oxzg_iM-T4E
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#163583 - 01/17/09 05:16 PM Re: Airplane Down In The Hudson River [Re: Nicodemus]
Nicodemus Offline
Paranoid?
Veteran

Registered: 10/30/05
Posts: 1341
Loc: Virginia, US
Back to the topic at hand.
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#163663 - 01/18/09 05:18 AM Re: Airplane Down In The Hudson River [Re: Nicodemus]
Chris Kavanaugh Offline
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Registered: 02/09/01
Posts: 3824
O.K. Here's a Kavanaugh editorial.
A few days ago if you asked any frequent flier what to do in a ditching they'd look back with blank stares.
Today somebody is putting up $10,000 for a statue of the pilot, Doctor Phil wieghed in as the self appointed arbiter of all things under God's sky and There's probably somebody pushing a made for T.V. movie with John Travolta as the lead.
And I bet anyone a bag of airline peanuts 6 months from now you ask frequent fliers about ditching procedures and they will stare blankly back at you.

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#163665 - 01/18/09 05:34 AM Re: Airplane Down In The Hudson River [Re: Chris Kavanaugh]
scafool Offline
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Registered: 12/18/08
Posts: 1534
Loc: Muskoka
First you have to make sure there are no snakes on the plane.

Instant news is transient noise.
I really want to know what the investigation comes up with when they are done.
It is seldom that plane crashes turn out this well and we might learn something about what to do instead of what not to do.
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#163666 - 01/18/09 05:41 AM Re: Airplane Down In The Hudson River [Re: scafool]
Chris Kavanaugh Offline
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Registered: 02/09/01
Posts: 3824
Like maybe contribute $10,000 to his research into human behaviour in crisis?

And, for the record: The snoopy flying doghouse was not my idea and I think there are still plans to build it.
Now, MY plane was a vastly superior airplane to the Fokker DR 1. I built a Sopwith Snipe as flown by William Barker.

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#163669 - 01/18/09 05:59 AM Re: Airplane Down In The Hudson River [Re: Chris Kavanaugh]
scafool Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 12/18/08
Posts: 1534
Loc: Muskoka
Originally Posted By: Chris Kavanaugh
Like maybe contribute $10,000 to his research into human behaviour in crisis?


Maybe.
If I had the money I would certainly consider doing that.
Much of the hard research has been done already, but nobody has really compiled it.
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#163670 - 01/18/09 06:01 AM Re: Airplane Down In The Hudson River [Re: Jesselp]
bilojax Offline
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Registered: 01/18/09
Posts: 36
Hi, new to the forum, wondering if we could talk a bit more in detail and more critically about a few aspects of this incident. Please forgive me (and correct me) if this isnít what the forum is for.

Overall, it sounds like mostly good news, but it seems to me that several areas could have been improved on. True, we got off in this case with no fatalities and only a limited number of injuries (all hypothermia cases). However, in terms of future planning both for the community and for ourselves as potential passengers, I think we need to view the events in terms of likely outcomes if this accident were repeated 100 times. In that case, we might be looking at an average of 10-25 deaths and 50-100 total casualties per incident Ė in other words, a serious accident. How could those numbers be reduced?

Iím no expert, but several possible areas occur to me. First, Iíd like to hear more discussion about just how big a part pilot skill played here. Most people seem to be making the pilot out to be a hero, and thatís fine from a news-talking-point view, but if true, then it implies that most other pilots would not have done as well. Are we saying that 99% of pilots would have had a bad landing? 75%? 50%? Given the importance of water-ditching options as a means of averting fatalities, it seems to me that we should expect something like a 90% + success ratio here Ė is that unreasonable?

Second, whatís the rule (if any) on raft-capacity-to-passenger ratios? In other words, why are all those people standing on the wings and getting hypothermic? The NYTimes article says people on the wings were standing up to their waists or deeper while waiting to get rescued, and one guy said he couldnít feel his legs when he was pulled aboard a boat. It also says some passengers made comments about ďitís like the Titanic, not enough boats for all.Ē Given the small space and weight of inflatable craft, should airlines be required to carry enough for all?

Third, passengers reported the wings to be slippery and several people slipped off and fell into the water. Since the wings seem to be an integral part of escape plans, shouldnít they have a no-slip surface in places?

Fourth, what are the mechanics of transferring from a sinking plane to a ferry boat? The NYT article says at least some of the people had to jump into the water and swim to the rescue boats. Are ferry boats easy to enter from water level? How about from a raft? If I find myself in that situation, waist deep on the slippery wing with a rescue boat 10 feet off, am I better off being one of the first to swim to the boat, or waiting where I am on the wing?

Sorry to be so long winded on my first post, but I suspect there is a lot of knowledge here that hasnít posted yet, and Iím just trying to draw it out for my future benefit.

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#163672 - 01/18/09 07:19 AM Re: Airplane Down In The Hudson River [Re: bilojax]
scafool Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 12/18/08
Posts: 1534
Loc: Muskoka
Bilojax, Hi and welcome.
You raise very good questions.
I am no expert on airplanes, so my comments are just guesses.

There is a high likelihood that some of the hypothermia cases would have been fatalities if the rescue had not been as fast as it was.
That the rescue boats were available so quickly is largely due to pure luck in where the crash was.
Another point was that the plane had all the external vents sealed to slow the rate it was sinking at.
While this certainly helped if they had been forced to wait a few hours it likely would not have prevented some people from freezing to death.

I don't know about nonslip surfaces on the wings. It might not be possible over much of the wing, but near the exit points would certainly make sense.

I wonder about the raft deployment a lot too.
Getting them out of the water and out of the wind in a raft, huddled together for warmth, instead of standing on the wing should have helped

I was wondering a bit about the inflatable exit ramps themselves.
Maybe they could be made to float enough to keep people out of the water, like the rafts do.

Most people who have never been dunked into freezing water grossly overestimate their ability to swim or even to haul themselves out. Cold water chills you about 25 times as fast as air does.
It saps your strength to the point that at one minute most people are usually too cold to pull themselves out of the water. At 2 minutes the vast majority of people have stopped swimming and are starting to sink, their limbs are to cold to move.

A life jacket might keep your head above water.


An idea about the passenger's clothing.
Obviously most of them were dressed for the airport lounge, the airplane ride and the taxi ride from the airport when they landed, not for standing around waiting to be taken off an airplane wing.
They were certainly not dressed for cold water immersion.

Chris's comment about his survival suit was not a bad one. I thought he was joking at first, but after thinking about it a decent suit of Harris Tweed wool would have been a vast improvement over what most of the passengers were wearing.
I bet even a pair of long underwear would have been a vast improvement in most cases.

I think the investigation report on this one should be a very interesting read, both for what went right, and for what went wrong.
Thanks for bringing it back onto topic.
It is very easy to get distracted.


Edited by scafool (01/18/09 06:31 PM)
Edit Reason: correction
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#163676 - 01/18/09 08:14 AM Re: Airplane Down In The Hudson River [Re: scafool]
BigAssDiesel Offline
Journeyman

Registered: 06/01/05
Posts: 58
"Another point was that the plane had all the external vents sealed to slow the rate it was sinking at. "

It is being reported that the crew did not hit the ditch switch. If they did, I wonder how much longer it would have floated the plane?

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#163678 - 01/18/09 10:11 AM Re: Airplane Down In The Hudson River [Re: BigAssDiesel]
scafool Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 12/18/08
Posts: 1534
Loc: Muskoka
Originally Posted By: BigAssDiesel
"Another point was that the plane had all the external vents sealed to slow the rate it was sinking at. "

It is being reported that the crew did not hit the ditch switch. If they did, I wonder how much longer it would have floated the plane?

I did not know that.
I thought they must have done it since the plane floated.
Yes, good point.
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#163679 - 01/18/09 01:01 PM Re: Airplane Down In The Hudson River [Re: BigAssDiesel]
ironraven Offline
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Registered: 09/08/05
Posts: 4642
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In that case, Airbus made an even better boat than I thought. *laughs*

The idea of non-skid surfaces on the wing surface, at least to me as a non-pilot, sounds like a bad idea. Three reasons. One, I'd think you'd want as little as possible that will interfere with lift, and if it was textured enough to poke through the paint it might, but it would more likely promote icing at altitude. Two, if it is just stuck on, it will eventually unstick and become FOD; if it is part of the skin, it is adding weight. Three, it will make natural places for ice accumulated on the ground to stick to and harder to clean the aircraft in general thus increasing corrosion issues.
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#163684 - 01/18/09 01:58 PM Re: Airplane Down In The Hudson River [Re: ironraven]
Russ Offline
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Registered: 06/02/06
Posts: 3702
Loc: SOCAL
There's this thing called Laminar flow that allows stuff like non-skid to be okay within limits.

As for whether it was the pilot or the aircraft -- why yes, it was. The pilot recognized the situation for what it was and dealt with denial in a heartbeat. He and the co-pilot knew they couldn't make it to an airport so the decision to put it in the Hudson was made early, when they still had enough altitude to set up a good approach. They just set the aircraft up for a controlled ditch and did a superb job picking where on the Hudson. The flight crew kept their heads and made good decisions. The other side of the coin is that the aircraft did its job and protected the occupants; it stayed intact and floated long enough.

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#163685 - 01/18/09 01:59 PM Re: Airplane Down In The Hudson River [Re: Susan]
ki4buc Offline
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Registered: 11/10/03
Posts: 688
Loc: Augusta, GA
Originally Posted By: Susan
No computer system put that bird down in a relatively crowded river without catching a wingtip on something and skewing the landing into a crash. That situation could have gone bad so easily.

Give credit where credit is due.

Sue



Oops! I left out context! I was not implying the aircraft was on autopilot. What I was implying is that the fly-by-wire computer apparently allowed the pilot to do exactly as he wished. Air France flight 296 was rumored to have issues with the onboard flight software, either the visual displays, or the aircraft not responding to the pilot's command. As with any aircraft crash, it's never just one thing.
A320 crash in France
Wikipedia Article: Wikipedia article on this

Did you read that the pilot was a genius at age 12?

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#163687 - 01/18/09 02:08 PM Re: Airplane Down In The Hudson River [Re: ki4buc]
Andrew_S Offline
Journeyman

Registered: 01/09/09
Posts: 59
One thing that struck me is that a sizable proportion of the passengers left the aircraft without life jackets.

This is the number one potential killer in cold water.

Something to look at from the standpoint of the flight attendants.

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#163695 - 01/18/09 02:56 PM Re: Airplane Down In The Hudson River [Re: Andrew_S]
Russ Offline
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Registered: 06/02/06
Posts: 3702
Loc: SOCAL
So soon



Definitely a good ditching.

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#163706 - 01/18/09 04:14 PM Re: Airplane Down In The Hudson River [Re: Russ]
bilojax Offline
Newbie

Registered: 01/18/09
Posts: 36
Originally Posted By: Russ
As for whether it was the pilot or the aircraft -- why yes, it was.


The thing I'm trying to get at is answering the question, What percent of current airline pilot crews could have done the same thing? It's no disrespect to the pilot to say that this was a routine manuever made easier by sophisticated electronics - if that is the case. Further, if that IS the case, then it becomes an important survival tool to know which airplanes have the necessary equipment and which don't.

On the other hand, if pilot skill and experience is a major factor, then it might become important to take a look at the experience levels of pilots on different airlines. I seem to recall that there are wide differences in this regard, with some of the newer, low-fare carriers employing less experienced pilots (actually I thought US Air was one of the skimpers, but they apparently landed a gem in this particular guy).

Has the pilot himself spoken to the press? I'd be interested to hear what he had to say, whether he thinks what he did was a big deal or not.

On another topic, has anybody seen any video of the rescue in progress? The USCG videos show the approach of the first ferry, where they are tossing life preservers, but apparently are too high out of the water to pick anybody up. That's the closest I've seen. I'm curious if it was fairly easy to pick up the people in the water and on the wing. Did they have to wait for small boats to come along and ferry the rescuees? Is there some kind of equipment they could have carried (ladders?) to make pickup easier? This isn't the last rescue situation that will occur in NY Harbor, and the ferries have often been first responders in the past.


Edited by bilojax (01/18/09 04:19 PM)

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#163714 - 01/18/09 04:48 PM Re: Airplane Down In The Hudson River [Re: bilojax]
Chris Kavanaugh Offline
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Registered: 02/09/01
Posts: 3824
I was Live serious about my tweed suit. In fact, if anybody looks at the website, it's a hunting coat with biswing arms for mobility.
You can design all manner of safety features. The problem is the airplane,ship,bus is rendered inoperable. Sikorsky built giant aircraft (for their time) even before WW1. One airliner even had a 'promenade deck' where passengers could exit the aircraft and stand outside on a stanchion enclosed wingsection for the view.
Shoes come off to board liferafts. Why? They poke holes in rubber, A poignant reminder the woman fleeing wartorn Yugoslavia in her prized high heels that killed everyone.You want to think SOCK traction; highly ribbed and thick wool socks.
Ships may have JACOBS ladders, a rollup metal affair much like the fire ladders some multi story homeowners install.The danger is people who are climbing such a ladder are exposed to potential crushing if the ship slamms in moving water against another vessel or the plane.Tugs have HIGH sides because they PUHh big ships. Ferryboats have LOW sides because they load and offload people.



Edited by Chris Kavanaugh (01/18/09 04:52 PM)

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#163746 - 01/18/09 09:58 PM Re: Airplane Down In The Hudson River [Re: bilojax]
ironraven Offline
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Registered: 09/08/05
Posts: 4642
Loc: Vermont
Originally Posted By: bilojax
a routine manuever made easier by sophisticated electronics


I doubt there is a single scenario built into the computer for water landing. Even if there is, as a computer engineer, I'd rather have a human in the loop. No offense to the computer, but is a hunk of technology who's hardware was made in a chicom chip farm and it's code was worked out by the lowest bidder for scenarios they could easily envision. Computers are STUPID. No, that's wrong, they aren't even stupid. The best AI is as smart as a roach, and is a a massive cluster which wouldn't fit on the airplane.

The computer might have helped. Just like a computer helped me type this. But it was still the hands on the stick and the brain directing those hands that put that bird down.
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#163749 - 01/18/09 10:05 PM Re: Airplane Down In The Hudson River [Re: bilojax]
Susan Offline
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Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 5163
Loc: W. WA
"What percent of current airline pilot crews could have done the same thing?"

There's no answer to that. It depends on conditions at the time, the pilot's mental attitude at the time, if he had had a drink before he took off, how scared he was, his experience in landing under poor conditions, his experience in landing on water, etc. In this case, the water was calm, there was no crosswind, his hand was steady, he kept his cool, and he had a good crew to help him out. Could he do it again? Who knows? Could someone else have done it under the same circumstances? Who knows? All the variables came together for survival. A little crosswind tipping one wing enough to catch water, rougher water, the pilot forgetting some tiny detail, a small watercraft not getting out of the way fast enough, all would have changed the equation, and he didn't have control of most of those.

Luck is also part of a survival equation, good and bad. This guy only had 3000 feet of elevation to work with, and that's not much at all.

There are always less experienced and more experienced pilots. Experience doesn't always equal guts, nerve and a steady hand. There are pilots who are secret drinkers. Some are full of bravado on the ground and panic when something goes wrong. Some get a good nights sleep, some have a cranky baby at home. And there are all the daily variations. Pilots aren't robots, and you can't line them up and number them as to how well they will react to trouble.

The pilot apparently isn't allowed to speak to the general press while the investigation is in progress. He's going on a TV talk show, but I suspect that he will be carefully coached and the interviewer will be, too, so he doesn't ask questions the FAA doesn't want answered (or guessed at) right now.

This the best of the videos (from the Coast Guard)of the crash, the people getting out onto the wings and the approach of the first three water taxis. There is two minutes of just watching the river before the plane is in sight, so don't let that discourage you: http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=9e6_1232166872

It almost looks like the boat pilots may have had trouble estimating how close to get, knowing if they touched the wing, many of the people would end up in the water. They also had to compensate for the current, and keep jockeying the craft to stay where they needed to be.

I don't believe that planes carry life preservers, just flotation pillows. One guy said he had forgotten his, but the woman behind him had brought it and gave it to him.

The one thing that stood out as a big negative on staying upright? Dress shoes with hard soles. Several men said they were having trouble.

One thing that might help in such a case: they tell you to take your shoes off before entering a lifeboat or going out on the wing, so they should have some gummy-soled, stretchy, pull-on slippers.

Sue


Edited by Susan (01/18/09 10:29 PM)
Edit Reason: correction

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#163750 - 01/18/09 10:12 PM Re: Airplane Down In The Hudson River [Re: bilojax]
unimogbert Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 08/10/06
Posts: 743
Loc: Colorado
Originally Posted By: bilojax
Originally Posted By: Russ
As for whether it was the pilot or the aircraft -- why yes, it was.


The thing I'm trying to get at is answering the question, What percent of current airline pilot crews could have done the same thing? It's no disrespect to the pilot to say that this was a routine manuever made easier by sophisticated electronics - if that is the case. Further, if that IS the case, then it becomes an important survival tool to know which airplanes have the necessary equipment and which don't.



Most, I daresay all, crews could glide an aircraft to someplace and probably make a soft touchdown. No power glide is part of pilot training starting really early.

The cool judgement involved here was making the hard call of realizing that no airport is within gliding range and that the river is the best option for a controlled touchdown and making it happen in a timely fashion. The time it takes to work thru denial could close the door on lots of options.

But still I'd rather have a guy up front who has seen so many things that during recurrent training he asks the simulator operators for entertaining scenarios just to learn new things. I don't know that this pilot did this but I suspect it.

It's also a good sign that the flight software didn't prevent this good outcome. Flight software on Airbus has matured since that airshow disaster early on.

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#163751 - 01/18/09 10:17 PM Re: Airplane Down In The Hudson River [Re: bilojax]
scafool Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 12/18/08
Posts: 1534
Loc: Muskoka
Can anybody tell me something about these inflatable exit ramps and why they can not be designed to be something able to float the passengers?

It seems that with them being inflatable to begin with they should be easy to make into a temporary raft type thing if you had to ditch.
Maybe not a perfect answer, but a better answer than dunking old folks with weak hearts into freezing water.
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#163752 - 01/18/09 10:18 PM Re: Airplane Down In The Hudson River [Re: bilojax]
Eric Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 09/09/06
Posts: 323
Loc: Iowa
Hi and welcome,

To take the points I can in order.

Pilot skill was pretty much the key here, as to what percentage could have pulled it off under the same identical circumstances I think you will see a pretty tight bell curve (at least in the US pilot population, it varies a bit more across the globe) with the pilot of this flight at or near the top end of the scale. Your more typical pilot (center of the curve) would probably done nearly as well, maybe a bit harder landing, a few more injuries, a bit faster sink rate after "landing"). The other end of the scale might have broken up or flipped on impact since ditching is a very narrow margin situation. US aircrews (all airlines) are a pretty highly trained and skilled group and most are very professional and proud of their abilities. Keep in mind it was an average flight crew that did such a great job getting that crippled DC-10 into Sioux City Iowa several years ago.

Another factor was the type of aircraft involved. I am not a huge fan of Airbus planes (If it ain't Boeing, I ain't going) but the A320 series is designed for hard use (lots of cycles per day) and is reasonably sturdy. A 737 would have probably done as well while larger planes might not have fared as well. For those speculating on the effect of the water temperature, it doesn't really matter at the speed the plane was going. I am pretty sure the investigation will show the initial impact managed to open up the outer fuselage at the impact point. Hitting water at those speeds is like hitting concrete since water is not compressible.

The number and size of slides are dictated by airplane evacuation times not their secondary use as floatation devices and trust me, you want to keep it that way. Adding more exits & slides just to have more "rafts" would increase the cost and weight of the plane considerably and drive ticket prices even higher. Making the slides longer (to float more people) would have a negative impact on evacuation times and safety. Flights over larger bodies of water carry dedicated rafts based on their rated passenger capacity. In this situation I don't think it would have helped a lot and most passengers are already upset at the overhead compartment space dedicated to the flight crew and safety items. Adding in life rafts would just increase the frustration and operating costs of the airplane for no measurable improvement in safe outcomes over the continental US.

Adding any sort of a non-slip surface to the wing just for emergencies is not a good cost benefit trade. You are adding weight, drag (think increased operating and maintenance costs) and additional risk (icing, changes in stall behavior/margin) under normal operating conditions to offset a minor risk (slippery surface) during an emergency situation (loss of aircraft/major damage is a roughly 10E-9 type of event).

Can't help with the other ponderings.

- Eric


Edited by Eric (01/18/09 11:06 PM)
Edit Reason: typo and clarification
_________________________
You are never beaten until you admit it. - - General George S. Patton


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#163753 - 01/18/09 10:21 PM Re: Airplane Down In The Hudson River [Re: scafool]
Eric Offline
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Registered: 09/09/06
Posts: 323
Loc: Iowa
The ramps do float and are designed as a detachable floatation device. They are not sized to carry everyone on the plane but to ensure rapid and relatively safe exits for a wide variety of emergency conditions. Preliminary information is that they performed well and as designed. Probably won't hear anything significant about them until the NTSB publishes their final report in 6 months to a year.

- Eric
_________________________
You are never beaten until you admit it. - - General George S. Patton


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#163755 - 01/18/09 10:33 PM Re: Airplane Down In The Hudson River [Re: unimogbert]
Eric Offline
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Registered: 09/09/06
Posts: 323
Loc: Iowa
Regarding the Flight Control software on Airbus airplanes. It really hasn't changed since the Airshow incident. That was a specific case of the pilot getting too low and slow, with the engines powered waaay back and the flight controls not allowing the airplane to maneuver up to the real stall attitude or into the post stall region of flight. Various people have claimed that by pulling up either closer to the edge of a stall or even into an intentional stall the crew could have gained enough altitude and time for the engines to finish spooling up enough thrust to climb out. The flight controls operated as planned and they flew the airplane into the trees with the crew hauling back on the stick as hard as they could.

That is actually one of the big philosophy differences between Boeing and Airbus designs - who has the final say on what the plane can do, the pilots who are on the plane or the engineers who are sitting at their desks. I am an engineer and all told I would rather trust the guy up in the front of the plane most of the time. smile

Airbus flight control laws still prevent the pilot from intentionally performing radical maneuvers (like large bank angles or approaching a stall). They have hard limits that the pilot cannot fly through. Those limits do not seem to have had any impact (positive or negative) on this incident.

- Eric
_________________________
You are never beaten until you admit it. - - General George S. Patton


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#163758 - 01/18/09 10:59 PM Re: Airplane Down In The Hudson River [Re: Eric]
scafool Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 12/18/08
Posts: 1534
Loc: Muskoka
Originally Posted By: Eric
The ramps do float and are designed as a detachable floatation device. They are not sized to carry everyone on the plane but to ensure rapid and relatively safe exits for a wide variety of emergency conditions. Preliminary information is that they performed well and as designed. Probably won't hear anything significant about them until the NTSB publishes their final report in 6 months to a year.

- Eric

Thanks. I kind of suspected that but didn't know.
As you say, the real news will likely be in about a year when they finally have it all figured out and can make recommendations.
_________________________
May set off to explore without any sense of direction or how to return.

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#163759 - 01/18/09 11:11 PM Re: Airplane Down In The Hudson River [Re: Eric]
ki4buc Offline
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Registered: 11/10/03
Posts: 688
Loc: Augusta, GA
Originally Posted By: Eric

Keep in mind it was an average flight crew that did such a great job getting that crippled DC-10 into Sioux City Iowa several years ago.


Captain Al Haynes was also coincidentally about 57 years old, just like Captain CB "Sully" Sullenberger. This Sioux City accident also had an additional DC-10 pilot/flight instructor in the cockpit, adding to the amount of experience in the cockpit.

I think that perhaps having a medium length of time for the incident may have allowed greater focus. Less chance that stray thoughts get in the way and the adrenaline is up as high as it can go.

Originally Posted By: Eric

Airbus flight control laws still prevent the pilot from intentionally performing radical maneuvers (like large bank angles or approaching a stall). They have hard limits that the pilot cannot fly through. Those limits do not seem to have had any impact (positive or negative) on this incident.


Usually, they're to protect the airframe from undue stress, right?


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#163780 - 01/19/09 01:16 AM Re: Airplane Down In The Hudson River [Re: ki4buc]
Eric Offline
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Registered: 09/09/06
Posts: 323
Loc: Iowa
Originally Posted By: ki4buc
Originally Posted By: Eric

Keep in mind it was an average flight crew that did such a great job getting that crippled DC-10 into Sioux City Iowa several years ago.


Captain Al Haynes was also coincidentally about 57 years old, just like Captain CB "Sully" Sullenberger. This Sioux City accident also had an additional DC-10 pilot/flight instructor in the cockpit, adding to the amount of experience in the cockpit.

I think that perhaps having a medium length of time for the incident may have allowed greater focus. Less chance that stray thoughts get in the way and the adrenaline is up as high as it can go.


Actually from the stories Captain Al Haynes tells and the NTSB writeups that crew performed a minor miracle keeping their wounded bird in the air. They were flying along minding their own business when BAM! - they get a big jolt followed by indications of engine problems and flight control problems. They fought a several minute battle where things kept going from bad to worse after which they had to relearn to fly using only the throttles!! I am willing to bet their adrenaline levels were right up there - but yeah after the initial crisis they had some time to think. Personally I think that crew pulled off a much harder set of miracles since the A320 only lost engines (not flight controls).

Originally Posted By: ki4buc

Originally Posted By: Eric

Airbus flight control laws still prevent the pilot from intentionally performing radical maneuvers (like large bank angles or approaching a stall). They have hard limits that the pilot cannot fly through. Those limits do not seem to have had any impact (positive or negative) on this incident.


Usually, they're to protect the airframe from undue stress, right?



Thats one of the arguments but not really a good one - there are lots of things that an airplane can do that are low/no stress that the Airbus primary flight control laws don't allow. My favorite example is a 1G roll. No stress on the airframe at all - heck done correctly the airplane never really knows it is upside down smile . Another one is stalling - no real airframe stress.

It really is a philosophy thing that ties into cultural tendencies and who should have the final say. If you assume the pilots are good and know what they are doing you warn them where the limits are (and the warnings are usually loud/obvious) but let them choose to spill the drinks and maybe abuse the airframe a bit if they need to. Airplanes have impressive design margins so letting a good pilot push the envelope can be the difference between an incident and an accident.

On the other hand if you assume the crew is under trained (by comparison to say the typical US commercial crew) and a bit ham handed you let the flight controls protect the plane from the pilots. Of course that assumes that the engineers designing the thing have managed to figure out everything that can go wrong and design in the right response - yeah, that's going to happen. confused

I guess I'll fess up here too. I am an engineer and I work on avionics systems, including flight control systems once upon a time ago. The teams I have worked with have all been very good but I would rather put my faith in the pilots. If nothing else the guy in the front seat has the added incentive that he is usually the first to arrive wherever the airplane is going. smile

- Eric
_________________________
You are never beaten until you admit it. - - General George S. Patton


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#163790 - 01/19/09 02:27 AM Re: Airplane Down In The Hudson River [Re: scafool]
Arney Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 09/15/05
Posts: 2485
Loc: California
Originally Posted By: scafool
Can anybody tell me something about these inflatable exit ramps and why they can not be designed to be something able to float the passengers?

I don't recall if it was an Airbus placard or not, but I have certainly seen pictures on an emergency placard of exit slides being used as a raft during a water landing.

One reason that passengers had to stand on the wing instead of being in one of the rafts is because the tail section immediately submerged, so the two tail exits were never opened and those two slides were never deployed. The cabin crew directed the passengers away from the tail exits.

With several boats close by, I also wonder if the crew was calculating the danger of overloading the rafts by piling everyone on the rafts versus waiting on the wing in anticipation of imminent pick up?

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#163793 - 01/19/09 02:57 AM Re: Airplane Down In The Hudson River [Re: Arney]
MDinana Offline
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Registered: 03/08/07
Posts: 2177
Loc: Deep south... Carolina
Surveillance tapes from the shore show the plane's landing. Amazingly, it looks *almost* routine.

http://www.cnn.com/2009/US/01/17/usair.splash.video/index.html

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#163796 - 01/19/09 03:13 AM Re: Airplane Down In The Hudson River [Re: Arney]
bilojax Offline
Newbie

Registered: 01/18/09
Posts: 36
Originally Posted By: Arney
One reason that passengers had to stand on the wing instead of being in one of the rafts is because the tail section immediately submerged, so the two tail exits were never opened and those two slides were never deployed. The cabin crew directed the passengers away from the tail exits.


The NY Times article says that initially all of the passengers rushed to the rear exits, then the flight crew told them to come forward. Could that initial weight shift have been the reason (or contributing factor) for why the tail sank? The article doesn't explicitly say so, but presumably, the flight crew initially directed the passengers to go to the rear - if so, was that a mistake? What if someone had managed to get the rear exit open before it sank - wouldn't that have been disasterous?

Along those line, is it possible to open the exit doors if the plane is submerged? (The wing doors, it says, are the push-out kind, not pull-in; presumably the rear exit is the same.) If yes, doesn't that pose a risk of sinking the plane if a panicy passenger opens one under water? (And if no, what about entrapment risk in a fast-sinking plane?)

Also, one thing I saw hinted that there might have been flotation rafts stored inside the plane (closets and overhead) that were not deployed. Does anyone know if that's true?


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#163799 - 01/19/09 03:41 AM Re: Airplane Down In The Hudson River [Re: bilojax]
Arney Offline
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Registered: 09/15/05
Posts: 2485
Loc: California
Originally Posted By: bilojax
The article doesn't explicitly say so, but presumably, the flight crew initially directed the passengers to go to the rear - if so, was that a mistake? What if someone had managed to get the rear exit open before it sank - wouldn't that have been disasterous?

Actually, apparently some overzealous passenger did begin to open a tail exit slightly before being stopped by a cabin crew member and re-closed. I believe that water did enter the cabin from that door while it was open. Well, considering that everyone survived, that wasn't a catastrophic mistake.

The passenger obviously made a huge mistake because the first thing to do when reaching an unopened exit is to look though the window for any hazards, like fire or being underwater.

This is purely my own thinking, but it doesn't seem to make sense for the cabin crew to advise everyone to head to the tail unless the plane was noticeably tilted nose down and was underwater. In this case, since the tail section was submerged and not the nose section, reports that the crew advised passengers to the tail doesn't seem logical to me, unless it was an early command for passengers in the tail section to head for the tail exits since those are the closest exit for that particular section.

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#163807 - 01/19/09 04:39 AM Re: Airplane Down In The Hudson River [Re: bilojax]
Art_in_FL Offline
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Registered: 09/01/07
Posts: 2432
Word I heard is that for flights over water the ramps as rafts, and any rafts, are collectively rated to nominally exceed the passenger capacity of the aircraft. In other words there is, at least theoretically, enough spots on the rafts for all the passengers and aircrew.

Nominal ratings for persons are not very generous. Something like three square feet per person. Which means that if everything goes perfectly, plane intact on a smooth sea, all the slides inflate and are accessible, and the passengers are properly dispersed between rafts that everyone could be part of our happy little navy. Failing that they have life preservers and seat cushions.

This kicker here is that the odds of an airliner making a successful water landing aren't that good even in perfect conditions. Pilots don't practice it and manufacturers don't test their planes by landing them in the water. In part because it usually destroys the airframe even if it stays in one piece. The forces are too high and there are just too many variables to predict.

Pilots are, from what I heard, given only general advice for how to do it. Pretty common sense stuff like draining off speed and planning the approach to end in a nose high, wings level attitude with the plane set up to perform as close an approximation of zero-speed stall a few feet off the water as possible.

One bit of advice offered is to try to land near boats to allow swifter rescue of the passengers. The pilot didn't come down near the ferry piers out of chance. He aimed to be close to the ferry terminals. Good thinking.

As a matter of fact I heard one of the ferry crewmen saying that they practice water recovery, including the deployment of ladders and/or nets less than a week ago. Evidently they train regularly. Makes sense in that people sometimes fall off ferries and they sometimes sink. Ferries crews rescuing each other is good, and if the odd airliner wants to get in on the act, so much the better.

Of course if there is any significant wave action, cross winds, limited visibility, a successful water landing goes from being possible to not so much. Such conditions also pretty much make deployment of slides as rafts and an organized evacuation onto them less likely. Imagine landing in a 60 mph gusting and shifting wind, 20 foot waves of 35F water and visibility of ten feet. Imagine having received a miracle and come down in one piece trying to deploy the slides and keep everyone together. Nobody expects it to go well.

It isn't really much of a problem considering that the odds are the plane cracks up after hitting a wave and all the occupants are stunned on impact and drown. Those few that don't are unconscious from hypothermia in a few minutes and a short bit after that they are dead.

If an airliner goes down in a storm over cold water the odds are your all dead. Good thing, for the most part, they don't go down. There are cases of military pilots going down in storms where they made it but, husky military aircraft, warm water, survival suits, dedicated life rafts, survival training, and a relatively low numbers of people all played a part in making it possible. Even with all that going for them most don't make it.

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#163828 - 01/19/09 12:40 PM Re: Airplane Down In The Hudson River [Re: Eric]
ki4buc Offline
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Registered: 11/10/03
Posts: 688
Loc: Augusta, GA
Originally Posted By: Eric

I guess I'll fess up here too. I am an engineer and I work on avionics systems, including flight control systems once upon a time ago. The teams I have worked with have all been very good but I would rather put my faith in the pilots. If nothing else the guy in the front seat has the added incentive that he is usually the first to arrive wherever the airplane is going. smile
- Eric


I watched a lot of Star Trek: The Next Generation and got used to hearing stuff like "Performing that operation will result in anti-matter containment failure." "Computer, override safety protocols, authorization Lt. Geordi La Forge, Zulu-Sierra-5-Foxtrot"... or something. Anytime there was a limit, it could be overridden. The day my automobile does not allow me to exceed the speed limit, is the day I become a felon when I disable it.

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#163897 - 01/19/09 10:25 PM Re: Airplane Down In The Hudson River [Re: ki4buc]
Susan Offline
Geezer

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 5163
Loc: W. WA
The information that I read indicated that one of the flight attendants tried to open the rear door and couldn't (water pressure?), so then she directed the passengers to the front exits, which two passengers opened. The article indicated that if the flight attendant had been successful, it would have been disastrous, as the tail was under water from the very beginning, even before they stopped completely.

Pay attention to the directions. Both of the passengers who were attempting to open the front doors were PULLING on them until another passenger yelled that they open outwards, and they need to PUSH on them.

There was also the mention that one woman had two broken legs, which I don't understand. They said the landing felt like a regular hard ground landing, then nothing, they didn't realize they were now floating on the water. How would she have broken both legs???

Sue

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#164342 - 01/22/09 05:41 AM Re: Airplane Down In The Hudson River [Re: Jesselp]
Desperado Offline
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Registered: 11/01/08
Posts: 1516
Loc: DFW, Texas
Looks like they found "organic material" already inside one engine and elsewhere on the aircraft. News Story

I also saw, but have since lost, a story stating the same aircraft had a compressor stall on one of the engines earlier in the week.
_________________________
I do the things that I must, and really regret, are unfortunately necessary.

RIP OBG

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#164417 - 01/22/09 05:27 PM Re: Airplane Down In The Hudson River [Re: Desperado]
ki4buc Offline
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Registered: 11/10/03
Posts: 688
Loc: Augusta, GA
Originally Posted By: Desperado
Looks like they found "organic material" already inside one engine and elsewhere on the aircraft. News Story

I also saw, but have since lost, a story stating the same aircraft had a compressor stall on one of the engines earlier in the week.


That story was on CNN, but I cannot find it anymore. There was an interview on daytime CNN.

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#164418 - 01/22/09 05:27 PM Re: Airplane Down In The Hudson River [Re: Desperado]
Nicodemus Offline
Paranoid?
Veteran

Registered: 10/30/05
Posts: 1341
Loc: Virginia, US
This is related, but a little off to the left of topic...

At the end of the video that is connected to the linked story, there is a picture of a group of people that were in the crash. As the camera panned across the photo I noticed that there appeared to be a man wearing his inflatable life jacket backwards.

If the man had been in the water, would wearing the pfd in this way be dangerous?


Edited by Nicodemus (01/22/09 05:28 PM)
_________________________
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#164426 - 01/22/09 05:40 PM Re: Airplane Down In The Hudson River [Re: Susan]
7point82 Offline
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Registered: 11/24/05
Posts: 478
Loc: Oklahoma
I read somewhere that the rear doors are locked as part of the "ditch" mechanism on the Airbus.
_________________________
"There is not a man of us who does not at times need a helping hand to be stretched out to him, and then shame upon him who will not stretch out the helping hand to his brother." -Theodore Roosevelt

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#164429 - 01/22/09 05:44 PM Re: Airplane Down In The Hudson River [Re: 7point82]
Russ Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 06/02/06
Posts: 3702
Loc: SOCAL
Ya but. . . I thought the flight crew didn't engage the ditch switch. Good thing the door didn't want to open.

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#164430 - 01/22/09 05:46 PM Re: Airplane Down In The Hudson River [Re: ki4buc]
Sherpadog
Unregistered


Originally Posted By: ki4buc
Originally Posted By: Desperado
Looks like they found "organic material" already inside one engine and elsewhere on the aircraft. News Story

I also saw, but have since lost, a story stating the same aircraft had a compressor stall on one of the engines earlier in the week.


That story was on CNN, but I cannot find it anymore. There was an interview on daytime CNN.


Here is a link to the news story about the salled compressor that occurred a few days before the jet went down.


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#164589 - 01/23/09 03:56 AM Re: Airplane Down In The Hudson River [Re: ]
Susan Offline
Geezer

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 5163
Loc: W. WA
"...here appeared to be a man wearing his inflatable life jacket backwards."

I don't believe they had life jackets. They were holding onto flotation pillows. There were also at least two children on board, one a baby, so they could have been the 'lumps' under the men's coats.

All the PFDs that I've worn had flotation materials all around, so it wouldn't matter, except the zippers are hard to fasten when they're in back.

Sue

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#164590 - 01/23/09 04:02 AM Re: Airplane Down In The Hudson River [Re: Susan]
Nicodemus Offline
Paranoid?
Veteran

Registered: 10/30/05
Posts: 1341
Loc: Virginia, US
It was definitely one of those yellow inflatable life preservers, but they could have swapped pics from another water landing I suppose.

Thanks for the info, Susan.
_________________________
"Learn survival skills when your life doesn't depend on it."

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#164591 - 01/23/09 04:05 AM Re: Airplane Down In The Hudson River [Re: Susan]
Desperado Offline
Veteran

Registered: 11/01/08
Posts: 1516
Loc: DFW, Texas
Originally Posted By: Susan
"...here appeared to be a man wearing his inflatable life jacket backwards."

I don't believe they had life jackets. They were holding onto flotation pillows. There were also at least two children on board, one a baby, so they could have been the 'lumps' under the men's coats.

All the PFDs that I've worn had flotation materials all around, so it wouldn't matter, except the zippers are hard to fasten when they're in back.

Sue


You mean these yellow seat cushions?



_________________________
I do the things that I must, and really regret, are unfortunately necessary.

RIP OBG

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#164609 - 01/23/09 07:16 AM Re: Airplane Down In The Hudson River [Re: Desperado]
Nicodemus Offline
Paranoid?
Veteran

Registered: 10/30/05
Posts: 1341
Loc: Virginia, US
Here's the picture I was referring to from the original video. It appears that the fourth person from the left is wearing his life jacket backwards. I was wondering if it was a choking hazard, if would place his body oriented in the wrong direction in the water or perhaps he would somehow slip through becasue the straps may not run under his arms correctly. Please pardon my ignorance.

_________________________
"Learn survival skills when your life doesn't depend on it."

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