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#163679 - 01/18/09 01:01 PM Re: Airplane Down In The Hudson River [Re: BigAssDiesel]
ironraven Offline
Cranky Geek
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 09/08/05
Posts: 4642
Loc: Vermont
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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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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#163684 - 01/18/09 01:58 PM Re: Airplane Down In The Hudson River [Re: ironraven]
Russ Online   content
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 06/02/06
Posts: 4591
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
Old Hand

Registered: 11/10/03
Posts: 710
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 Online   content
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 06/02/06
Posts: 4591
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
Carpal Tunnel

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
Cranky Geek
Carpal Tunnel

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.
_________________________
-IronRaven

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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#163749 - 01/18/09 10:05 PM Re: Airplane Down In The Hudson River [Re: bilojax]
Susan Offline
Geezer

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: 844
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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