January 16, 2009

Putting the 'Possible' in Impossible...

Well, the day has come that everyone said would never happen.

The crew of a modern commercial airliner has managed to succesfully ditch (land on water) the aircraft, with all on board surviving, no less.

(Picture by grego! on Flickr!)

US Airways Flight 1549 apparently hit a flock of geese shortly after takeoff and suffered a double flameout (engine failure). With nowhere to go, the pilots apparently decided to avoid the downtown area and attempt a ditching on the river.

A job well done by the pilots, cabin crew, ferry staff and bystanders in assisting, and of course from the early reports huge kudos to the passengers for remaining relatively calm and doing as directed in a very alarming situation!

You can see them here, standing on the wing awaiting rescue by boats which I've read were on the scene within two minutes- must have seemed a lifetime in that cold water!

The plane stayed afloat for a good 50 minutes, I always suspected that with the right conditions (and a bit of luck) that this could be achieved.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again... pay attention to that safety briefing... this could well be what saves your life, as it has for these lucky passengers and crew of US Airways 1549.

Well done crew!


  1. Agreed, bet you that pilot gets a medal.
    And lucky too there weren't any boats on the water when they ditched!

  2. Yes, they did a good job picking that stretch of water, as I'm told that there are actually tons of boats (ferries) on that river! :p

  3. Great minds thinks alike! Read my latest post! How cool is that! I still have goosies!

  4. I am thrilled at the achievement and the teamwork that saw this pulled off. Maggs

  5. Ooooh - at work we all stood around a computer and checked out the photos from the ditching. Amazing. Fantastic work from the crew and calm passengers.

  6. Kudos all around to the flight crew. I still get a little choked up seeing it on tv. Finally some good on the news.

  7. My sentiments are the same as Andi's; had me all choked up too. Thank God for ZERO fatalities and a well trained crew.

  8. US Airway has now made a water landing departing from three of the four runways out of LGA. The one I remember especially was the rather dubiously-named flite 5050.

    BTW, I have been a passenger on flite 1549 at least twice on my way to dixie.

  9. This will be a case study for all trainees around the world !!

  10. This will surely be a case study! I can see it being part of my CRM course when I go for recurrency in a year!

  11. From now on, I'm paying attention during the safety demonstration. Until now, I figured I'd be dead, so why bother, but now...

    Nice work.

  12. Kudos for you using the word "apparently" a couple of times. The investigation has not come out with the real facts yet.
    Quite a remarkable story just the same.
    ~happy flying~


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