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Tan Flyr
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12 th Anniversary Miracle on the Hudson

Fri Jan 15, 2021 10:22 pm

Today is the 12th anniversary of "The Miracle on the Hudson" , US Airways 1549.
Truly a miracle that day ! The skill of Capt. Chesley Sullenberger and co-pilot Jeffery Skiles saved everyone's life.

These 2 gentlemen and exceptional aviators are true American Heroes.

God Bless you both!

If you ever have the chance to visit the Carolina Aviation museum in Charlotte, please do so..great exhibit with the A320 there that survived the controlled landing on the Hudson.
 
N965UW
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Re: 12 th Anniversary Miracle on the Hudson

Sat Jan 16, 2021 4:59 am

Still remember the day like it was yesterday. Watching news reports of an A320 in the river 20 miles from where you live was an experience. It was COLD outside that day and I was hoping nobody slipped off those wings.

Bummed that the museum closed its doors just days before my first and so far only trip to CLT. It's on the bucket list.
 
twaconnie
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Re: 12 th Anniversary Miracle on the Hudson

Sat Jan 16, 2021 12:01 pm

I also enjoyed the movie "SULLY" very well done.
 
Leej
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Re: 12 th Anniversary Miracle on the Hudson

Sat Jan 16, 2021 12:10 pm

Am I correct in thinking that this remarkable incident was what brought Twitter to worldwide awareness? Not sure why I recall that!
 
musang
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Re: 12 th Anniversary Miracle on the Hudson

Sat Jan 16, 2021 1:44 pm

If I had ever been in such a predicament I would hope I performed even partially as well as the crew did.

However, a look at previous controlled jet transport water landings shows a high success rate and minimal casualties. Aeroflot Tu-124 on the river in St Petersburg. Floated to shore, occupants all walked out along the wing (a few of them walked home). Aeroflot Tu-134 in a lake. It was hauled out, on its landing gear, and went back into service. All occupants ok. JAL DC-8 in SFO bay - pulled out, cleaned up by United maintenance, back into service as a freighter for years. All occupants ok. Sudan Air 707 on the river Nile. All ok. TAAT 707 freighter - Lake Victoria(?) All ok. All these remained essentially intact. There are more examples. Off the top of my head the only unsuccessful controlled jet transport water landing I can think of was the DC-9 in the Caribbean, where the casualties were due to the cabin occupants not being all strapped in.

So is "miracle" the correct term? Surely this denigrates the skill and initiative of the pilots, taking credit from them and attributing the success to divine intervention (from a definition I just looked up). I know there's a very high level of religious dependency in America, so possibly its instinctive for many to attribute the outcome to "the lord", but does this mean that every airliner crash from which everyone survives is also a miracle?
 
WayexTDI
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Re: 12 th Anniversary Miracle on the Hudson

Sat Jan 16, 2021 6:29 pm

musang wrote:
If I had ever been in such a predicament I would hope I performed even partially as well as the crew did.

However, a look at previous controlled jet transport water landings shows a high success rate and minimal casualties. Aeroflot Tu-124 on the river in St Petersburg. Floated to shore, occupants all walked out along the wing (a few of them walked home). Aeroflot Tu-134 in a lake. It was hauled out, on its landing gear, and went back into service. All occupants ok. JAL DC-8 in SFO bay - pulled out, cleaned up by United maintenance, back into service as a freighter for years. All occupants ok. Sudan Air 707 on the river Nile. All ok. TAAT 707 freighter - Lake Victoria(?) All ok. All these remained essentially intact. There are more examples. Off the top of my head the only unsuccessful controlled jet transport water landing I can think of was the DC-9 in the Caribbean, where the casualties were due to the cabin occupants not being all strapped in.

So is "miracle" the correct term? Surely this denigrates the skill and initiative of the pilots, taking credit from them and attributing the success to divine intervention (from a definition I just looked up). I know there's a very high level of religious dependency in America, so possibly its instinctive for many to attribute the outcome to "the lord", but does this mean that every airliner crash from which everyone survives is also a miracle?

It's called "miracle" as it was a very unusual event and outcome. Merriam-Webster also defines miracle as "an extremely outstanding or unusual event, thing, or accomplishment"; divine intervention and religion is not mandated in a miracle.

As far as unsuccessful controlled jet water ditching, Air Florida Flight 90 (1982) was somewhat controlled and resulted in 74 fatalities out of 79 souls on board (+4 on the ground). And Ethiopian Airlines Flight 961 (1996) was very similar to US Airways Flight 1549 yet resulted in 125 fatalities out of 175 souls on board (122 out of 172 if you exclude the 3 terrorists that precipitated that ditching).
With less fatalities, Scandinavian Airlines System Flight 933 (1969) still saw 15 fatalities out of 45 on board (1/3).

Successful water ditching are still extremely perilous.
 
FGITD
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Re: 12 th Anniversary Miracle on the Hudson

Sat Jan 16, 2021 6:52 pm

What makes 1549 more remarkable is that in the cases of most other successful water ditches, the crew had time. They circled while troubleshooting, or knew fuel was running low, and so on.

1549 hit a maximum altitude of what, 3000ft? Over New York City, no less. To me the most impressive part was the command ability of the captain. He assessed his situation, made a decision, and followed through. The whole crew performed admirably, and proved the value of training. But the captain is the only one who knowingly put them into a risky situation that he thought was likely to produce the best outcome, and in the end he was right.
 
ethernal
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Re: 12 th Anniversary Miracle on the Hudson

Sat Jan 16, 2021 7:25 pm

FGITD wrote:
What makes 1549 more remarkable is that in the cases of most other successful water ditches, the crew had time. They circled while troubleshooting, or knew fuel was running low, and so on.

1549 hit a maximum altitude of what, 3000ft? Over New York City, no less. To me the most impressive part was the command ability of the captain. He assessed his situation, made a decision, and followed through. The whole crew performed admirably, and proved the value of training. But the captain is the only one who knowingly put them into a risky situation that he thought was likely to produce the best outcome, and in the end he was right.


Yes, it's probably "best" to compare it to other total power losses shortly after takeoff. They usually don't end well.

Is the "miracle on the Hudson" completely unique in the history of aviation? No, but it's definitely noteworthy. A lot of things lined up to result in no one dying.
 
phatfarmlines
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Re: 12 th Anniversary Miracle on the Hudson

Sat Jan 16, 2021 8:19 pm

musang wrote:
If I had ever been in such a predicament I would hope I performed even partially as well as the crew did.

However, a look at previous controlled jet transport water landings shows a high success rate and minimal casualties. Aeroflot Tu-124 on the river in St Petersburg. Floated to shore, occupants all walked out along the wing (a few of them walked home). Aeroflot Tu-134 in a lake. It was hauled out, on its landing gear, and went back into service. All occupants ok. JAL DC-8 in SFO bay - pulled out, cleaned up by United maintenance, back into service as a freighter for years. All occupants ok. Sudan Air 707 on the river Nile. All ok. TAAT 707 freighter - Lake Victoria(?) All ok. All these remained essentially intact. There are more examples. Off the top of my head the only unsuccessful controlled jet transport water landing I can think of was the DC-9 in the Caribbean, where the casualties were due to the cabin occupants not being all strapped in.

So is "miracle" the correct term? Surely this denigrates the skill and initiative of the pilots, taking credit from them and attributing the success to divine intervention (from a definition I just looked up). I know there's a very high level of religious dependency in America, so possibly its instinctive for many to attribute the outcome to "the lord", but does this mean that every airliner crash from which everyone survives is also a miracle?


You can argue the "miracle" in this case was Captain Sullenberger's ability to quickly think through the issue to determine Teterboro was not a viable alternative. The plane was sinking fast over a densely urban area, and he had to make a decision to aim for the Hudson instead.

I don't think your other examples can compare as they didn't have the same handicap as US1549 did. The only other accident IMO that the captain had to think as quickly in the same caliber as Captain Sullenberger was the Ural Airlines A321 that wound up in the cornfield back in 2019.
 
seat1a
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Re: 12 th Anniversary Miracle on the Hudson

Sat Jan 16, 2021 8:55 pm

Miracle is so cliche. The plane was designed to do that, and the training by the airlines allows a successful outcome. No miracle, just human brainpower to deal with physics.
 
Antarius
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Re: 12 th Anniversary Miracle on the Hudson

Sat Jan 16, 2021 9:20 pm

seat1a wrote:
Miracle is so cliche. The plane was designed to do that, and the training by the airlines allows a successful outcome. No miracle, just human brainpower to deal with physics.


Given infinite time, sure. But that wasnt the case. With the low altitude, high population density below and surprise of the incident, this was far from a gimme.

It may be cliche, And of course credit to CRM improvements, airliner design etc. But one cannot take away from the performance of the crew.
 
Insertnamehere
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Re: 12 th Anniversary Miracle on the Hudson

Sat Jan 16, 2021 10:08 pm

seat1a wrote:
Miracle is so cliche. The plane was designed to do that, and the training by the airlines allows a successful outcome. No miracle, just human brainpower to deal with physics.


Aren't you a bundle of joy
 
2175301
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Re: 12 th Anniversary Miracle on the Hudson

Sun Jan 17, 2021 2:30 am

seat1a wrote:
Miracle is so cliche. The plane was designed to do that, and the training by the airlines allows a successful outcome. No miracle, just human brainpower to deal with physics.


I disagree. What is rarely talked about is the Sully not only was a glider pilot with lots of glider hours. He was a glider pilot trainer who trained glider pilots to ride the thermals, land safely, and deal with emergencies.

As such, he had an instinctive understanding and feel of how to do a no-power landing. The airlines did not train him on that.

I consider it a miracle that you had such a well experienced glider pilot at the controls for this event. I believe that it made a major difference in the outcome.

Have a great day,
 
jreeves96
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Re: 12 th Anniversary Miracle on the Hudson

Sun Jan 17, 2021 3:10 am

Things I've leanred in my 24 years... never fly with Tom Hank, go to space with Tom Hanks, or get on a boat with Tom Hanks.

All jokes aside, the ditch was exeucted perfectly. A truly one in a millon landing.
 
seat1a
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Re: 12 th Anniversary Miracle on the Hudson

Sun Jan 17, 2021 7:15 am

2175301 wrote:
seat1a wrote:
Miracle is so cliche. The plane was designed to do that, and the training by the airlines allows a successful outcome. No miracle, just human brainpower to deal with physics.


I disagree. What is rarely talked about is the Sully not only was a glider pilot with lots of glider hours. He was a glider pilot trainer who trained glider pilots to ride the thermals, land safely, and deal with emergencies.

As such, he had an instinctive understanding and feel of how to do a no-power landing. The airlines did not train him on that.

I consider it a miracle that you had such a well experienced glider pilot at the controls for this event. I believe that it made a major difference in the outcome.

Have a great day,


Thanks for the thoughtful reply. Airlines don't train for no power landings? I did not know that. Still, design, training, skill ... those are human generated.
 
2175301
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Re: 12 th Anniversary Miracle on the Hudson

Sun Jan 17, 2021 7:47 am

seat1a wrote:
2175301 wrote:
seat1a wrote:
Miracle is so cliche. The plane was designed to do that, and the training by the airlines allows a successful outcome. No miracle, just human brainpower to deal with physics.


I disagree. What is rarely talked about is the Sully not only was a glider pilot with lots of glider hours. He was a glider pilot trainer who trained glider pilots to ride the thermals, land safely, and deal with emergencies.

As such, he had an instinctive understanding and feel of how to do a no-power landing. The airlines did not train him on that.

I consider it a miracle that you had such a well experienced glider pilot at the controls for this event. I believe that it made a major difference in the outcome.

Have a great day,


Thanks for the thoughtful reply. Airlines don't train for no power landings? I did not know that. Still, design, training, skill ... those are human generated.



Your welcome. The airlines might once during initial training training do a simulator landing with engines out, and perhaps a time or two occasionally over the years. No one is going to take a commercial airliner up and turn both engines off to let you learn how it feels and teach you how to land it... Too much risk and extremely expensive if the landing does not go perfect.

You don't get the feel of the glide sinking aircraft in a simulator, you don't get to feel the wind and approach angle changes affecting the aircraft as you do with a no power landing (according to an acquantance who flies gliders). Sully had many hundreds of such landings (possibly over a thousand). Admittedly, the sink rate on a glider is much lower by design. Yet, there are many similarities and you are flying more by feel than in any other situation. As the linked article below indicates - a glider pilot instinctively prevents stalling a powered aircraft if they loose both engines.

https://www.popularmechanics.com/flight ... xperience/

Enjoy the read, and have a great day,
 
seat1a
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Re: 12 th Anniversary Miracle on the Hudson

Sun Jan 17, 2021 7:51 am

2175301 wrote:
seat1a wrote:
2175301 wrote:

I disagree. What is rarely talked about is the Sully not only was a glider pilot with lots of glider hours. He was a glider pilot trainer who trained glider pilots to ride the thermals, land safely, and deal with emergencies.

As such, he had an instinctive understanding and feel of how to do a no-power landing. The airlines did not train him on that.

I consider it a miracle that you had such a well experienced glider pilot at the controls for this event. I believe that it made a major difference in the outcome.

Have a great day,


Thanks for the thoughtful reply. Airlines don't train for no power landings? I did not know that. Still, design, training, skill ... those are human generated.



Your welcome. The airlines might once during initial training training do a simulator landing with engines out, and perhaps a time or two occasionally over the years. No one is going to take a commercial airliner up and turn both engines off to let you learn how it feels and teach you how to land it... Too much risk and extremely expensive if the landing does not go perfect.

You don't get the feel of the glide sinking aircraft in a simulator, you don't get to feel the wind and approach angle changes affecting the aircraft as you do with a no power landing (according to an acquantance who flies gliders). Sully had many hundreds of such landings (possibly over a thousand). Admittedly, the sink rate on a glider is much lower by design. Yet, there are many similarities and you are flying more by feel than in any other situation. As the linked article below indicates - a glider pilot instinctively prevents stalling a powered aircraft if they loose both engines.

https://www.popularmechanics.com/flight ... xperience/

Enjoy the read, and have a great day,


Thank you for the reference.
 
ContinentalEWR
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Re: 12 th Anniversary Miracle on the Hudson

Sun Jan 17, 2021 12:55 pm

seat1a wrote:
Miracle is so cliche. The plane was designed to do that, and the training by the airlines allows a successful outcome. No miracle, just human brainpower to deal with physics.


It was a very cold day, icy water, a densely populated surrounding, a major bridge to clear, and an airport with a notoriously challenging approach (should it have been possible to attempt a return to LGA). The flight deck crew and the cabin crew on US Airways 1549 were heroes on a whole other level and the flight deck performed a miracle, that's for sure, not to mention the passengers, who did everything right and ended up helping each other. I'm not a religious person, but miracle is the optimal word here. And to think none of this happened against the backdrop of insurrections or people fighting and screaming at the top of their lungs over who's political party is better. Though this incident could have happened anywhere, It is examples like 1549 that remind me when America can be great. The Miracle on the Hudson was truly a textbook perfect water landing.
 
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jfklganyc
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Re: 12 th Anniversary Miracle on the Hudson

Sun Jan 17, 2021 1:32 pm

It wasnt a Miracle, wasnt noteworthy, shouldnt have been on the news, and shouldnt be discussed now.

The crew that flew the plane were doing their jobs, not being heros

The crew that evacuated the plane were also doing their jobs, again not heros

The boat drivers that off loaded people from the wings in 15 degree weather while the current swept the aircraft rapidly south were also in the right place at the right time...nothing special.

The fact that they didnt land on the Cross Bronx or on top of some housing project with 10,000 people in it is also just circumstance

Just a giant PHYSICS experiment. Any keyboard commando on the site could have handled it.
 
musang
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Re: 12 th Anniversary Miracle on the Hudson

Sun Jan 17, 2021 2:21 pm

We can argue until the cows come home about "miracle", but I believe the word has evolved to the modern meaning you cite (which I agree with) from originally a religion-infused meaning. Observe how many religious references there are in this:-

https://www.etymonline.com/word/miracle

I would contend that the word still has religious overtones for many, including Americans, many of whom attribute a large part of the courses of their lives to "a higher power" (I've lived there and witnessed the phenomenon). I wonder whether Captain Sullenberger and F.O. Skiles have ever been asked whether they consider the successful outcome of 1549 to be miraculous. If I was in their position I would have attributed it to (in no particular order) prior experience, using their initiative, basic flying skills, availability of a landing area, ability to think outside the box, decisiveness, training etc. But of course some will consider the juxtaposition of all these positives as "a miracle" in itself. And "Miracle on the Hudson" makes a great tagline!

Setting that aside, I picked my examples and the definition "controlled" carefully. As for these:-

"...Air Florida Flight 90 (1982) was somewhat controlled..."

Until it hit the bridge, yes. They may have got away with it had they missed, but I think few would consider that a controlled landing.

"...Ethiopian Airlines Flight 961 (1996) was very similar to US Airways Flight 1549..."

Seriously? With a couple of nutcases physically hindering the pilots' control inputs? Do you think that was a "controlled" landing? Would it have dipped a wingtip and cartwheeled if under control?

SAS 933, was only controlled in the sense that the flight path was stable and the aircraft was doing exactly what the crew programmed it to, but there was no intention to touch down and the crew had lost spatial awareness due to distraction. Others like this were the Tarom Tu-154 at Monrovia and the National 727 at Pensacola (and the Eastern Everglades L1011 but that wasn't really a water landing). My point is that there was no awareness that they were going to touch down.

The SAS DC-8 broke up on impact. Casualties were inevitable. The JAL DC-8 was resurrected and flew again. No injuries. That demonstrates that water landings (they were identical versions of the DC-8) are not all the same. If a jet transport is ditched under control, regardless of how much time to plan was available, it will largely stay intact.

Admittedly there are not many examples to draw upon, but my contention remains that of all the water landings of jet transports where the crews were aware that they were going to ditch and did so under control (so as to be comparable to the circumstances of 1549), the successful outcome expectation is high. If intentionally ditched under control, such an aircraft will remain largely intact and protect the occupants.
 
CRJ200flyer
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Re: 12 th Anniversary Miracle on the Hudson

Sun Jan 17, 2021 2:25 pm

seat1a wrote:
2175301 wrote:
seat1a wrote:
Miracle is so cliche. The plane was designed to do that, and the training by the airlines allows a successful outcome. No miracle, just human brainpower to deal with physics.


I disagree. What is rarely talked about is the Sully not only was a glider pilot with lots of glider hours. He was a glider pilot trainer who trained glider pilots to ride the thermals, land safely, and deal with emergencies.

As such, he had an instinctive understanding and feel of how to do a no-power landing. The airlines did not train him on that.

I consider it a miracle that you had such a well experienced glider pilot at the controls for this event. I believe that it made a major difference in the outcome.

Have a great day,


Thanks for the thoughtful reply. Airlines don't train for no power landings? I did not know that. Still, design, training, skill ... those are human generated.


At my airline they do not train us for no power landings. There are so many other likely emergency scenarios we have to cover (single engine failure on takeoff, engine fires, aircraft fires, trim runaways, cabin depressurization, flap failures, medical emergencies, hydraulic failures, microbursts/windshear) that this extraordinarily rare event never makes it into the curriculum.
 
ethernal
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Re: 12 th Anniversary Miracle on the Hudson

Sun Jan 17, 2021 7:13 pm

musang wrote:
Admittedly there are not many examples to draw upon, but my contention remains that of all the water landings of jet transports where the crews were aware that they were going to ditch and did so under control (so as to be comparable to the circumstances of 1549), the successful outcome expectation is high. If intentionally ditched under control, such an aircraft will remain largely intact and protect the occupants.


There's a lot you're skipping over to get to a successful, controlled water landing, and also ignoring everything after it.

Alternative scenario 1: pilots (not as trained as the US1549 captain at gliding and not realizing it would seal their fate) turning around / trying to make it to an airport (because that's what all your training says to do: get back to the airport!). Outcome: crashing into much more unfavorable ground, not unlikely into at least a somewhat populated area.

Alternative scenario 2: plane they are flying is not FBW or the crew is otherwise less skilled with gliding and is less likely to have a successful ditch; crew is distracted trying to keep within flight envelope and hits one of the multiple bridges on the Hudson and/or has a less controlled crash into water that causes much more rapid flooding of the frigid water hampering efforts to evacuate the plane and resulting in multiple causalities.

Alternative scenario 3: people evacuate the plane, but due to chaos and panic, multiple people drown due to shock from entering the 40 degree water (very cold water = breathing reflex = drowning). Nearby boats and ferries suffer from bystander effect and do not come to the aid of the plane waiting for emergency responders resulting in more deaths and/or serious injuries.

Yes, I agree with your hypothesis. Controlled water ditching into relatively still water does appear to be survivable when everything goes right. There's a lot that can go wrong in these situations.

Again, is US1549 completely unprecedented in aviation history? No, but it's still pretty damn lucky and there are a hundred ways that it could have ended up worse.
 
FGITD
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Re: 12 th Anniversary Miracle on the Hudson

Sun Jan 17, 2021 7:26 pm

The difference between 1549 and most other documented water ditching is power and time.

Most had either power, or they had time. The Aeroflot example is interesting because they had both. They then decided to dump fuel, and try to use a pole to lower the landing gear. This led to them depleting their fuel, leaving them with no power as a result of poor airmanship. Great landing, no doubt, but also entirely unnecessary.

1549 really didn’t have much running in it’s favor. Over one of the most populated areas in the US, at low altitude, with no power. In a way, the lack of feasible options may have contributed to the success because the captain had to commit immediately to one plan.
 
11C
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Re: 12 th Anniversary Miracle on the Hudson

Mon Jan 18, 2021 11:34 am

ethernal wrote:
musang wrote:
Admittedly there are not many examples to draw upon, but my contention remains that of all the water landings of jet transports where the crews were aware that they were going to ditch and did so under control (so as to be comparable to the circumstances of 1549), the successful outcome expectation is high. If intentionally ditched under control, such an aircraft will remain largely intact and protect the occupants.


There's a lot you're skipping over to get to a successful, controlled water landing, and also ignoring everything after it.

Alternative scenario 1: pilots (not as trained as the US1549 captain at gliding and not realizing it would seal their fate) turning around / trying to make it to an airport (because that's what all your training says to do: get back to the airport!). Outcome: crashing into much more unfavorable ground, not unlikely into at least a somewhat populated area.

Alternative scenario 2: plane they are flying is not FBW or the crew is otherwise less skilled with gliding and is less likely to have a successful ditch; crew is distracted trying to keep within flight envelope and hits one of the multiple bridges on the Hudson and/or has a less controlled crash into water that causes much more rapid flooding of the frigid water hampering efforts to evacuate the plane and resulting in multiple causalities.

Alternative scenario 3: people evacuate the plane, but due to chaos and panic, multiple people drown due to shock from entering the 40 degree water (very cold water = breathing reflex = drowning). Nearby boats and ferries suffer from bystander effect and do not come to the aid of the plane waiting for emergency responders resulting in more deaths and/or serious injuries.

Yes, I agree with your hypothesis. Controlled water ditching into relatively still water does appear to be survivable when everything goes right. There's a lot that can go wrong in these situations.

Again, is US1549 completely unprecedented in aviation history? No, but it's still pretty damn lucky and there are a hundred ways that it could have ended up worse.


You nailed it. For someone to sit here and essentially claim that this should always end with everyone walking away is absurd. The fly by wire laws are essentially irrelevant to this event, although they were largely credited with the successful outcome in the Langewiesche article (Vanity Fair). If you are flying the airplane completely within its envelope, none of the protections in the flight laws would be active. The fact that Captain Sullenberger was a glider pilot also gets a lot of mention, and I’m sure it didn’t hurt, but he was flying an Airbus, which has little in common with flying a glider. It probably helped his assessment that none of the airports were reachable, but as someone else pointed out, dual engine out landings are not trained.
I’m also uncomfortable with the whole ‘miracle’ description, it should be more about how little time the crew had, that they made a great decision, a decision that was counter to pretty much everything in standard airline training curricula, and performed the safest landing that was available to them, all while ATC was giving distances and bearings to the several airports that they could not possibly reach. To armchair quarterback that as ‘easy’ is laughable, especially when you have a cabin full of crew and passengers with you.
 
ethernal
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Re: 12 th Anniversary Miracle on the Hudson

Mon Jan 18, 2021 5:43 pm

11C wrote:
You nailed it. For someone to sit here and essentially claim that this should always end with everyone walking away is absurd. The fly by wire laws are essentially irrelevant to this event, although they were largely credited with the successful outcome in the Langewiesche article (Vanity Fair). If you are flying the airplane completely within its envelope, none of the protections in the flight laws would be active. The fact that Captain Sullenberger was a glider pilot also gets a lot of mention, and I’m sure it didn’t hurt, but he was flying an Airbus, which has little in common with flying a glider. It probably helped his assessment that none of the airports were reachable, but as someone else pointed out, dual engine out landings are not trained.
I’m also uncomfortable with the whole ‘miracle’ description, it should be more about how little time the crew had, that they made a great decision, a decision that was counter to pretty much everything in standard airline training curricula, and performed the safest landing that was available to them, all while ATC was giving distances and bearings to the several airports that they could not possibly reach. To armchair quarterback that as ‘easy’ is laughable, especially when you have a cabin full of crew and passengers with you.


I agree that the glider pilot piece and FBW piece are potentially overblown and I didn't mean to say or imply those were primary factors. They didn't make it as key items that led to good outcome in the NTSB report of course (although the #1 item - good crew decision making - is arguably tied to it). I do think that - to your point around the little time - while it is impossible to say whether or not they mattered, they certainly didn't hurt.

From bird ingestion to touchdown in water was 4 minutes... anything that reduced mental burden - whether it was experience in gliding, whether it was FBW, whether it was anything else - was an aid. You're right that "if you're flying in envelope", but not many pilots have experience flying in envelope at zero power. I'm not saying it is "hard" per se - any good pilot could do it without issue - but it is potentially an extra mental load that would distract from everything else that needed to get done over those 240 seconds. I do not pilot planes, so I cannot speak authoritatively to the actual impact. I could be completely off base.

All in all, this is a case of the metaphorical opposite of the swiss cheese model. A lot of things that potentially helped lead to a good outcome. It's hard to say which piece of the cheese was the single most critical item that stopped a complete hole from forming.
 
LCDFlight
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Re: 12 th Anniversary Miracle on the Hudson

Mon Jan 18, 2021 6:35 pm

FGITD wrote:
The difference between 1549 and most other documented water ditching is power and time.

Most had either power, or they had time. The Aeroflot example is interesting because they had both. They then decided to dump fuel, and try to use a pole to lower the landing gear. This led to them depleting their fuel, leaving them with no power as a result of poor airmanship. Great landing, no doubt, but also entirely unnecessary.

1549 really didn’t have much running in it’s favor. Over one of the most populated areas in the US, at low altitude, with no power. In a way, the lack of feasible options may have contributed to the success because the captain had to commit immediately to one plan.


Your last paragraph is very well done. It is a stirring story. That flight (155 lives) had a lot of strikes against them that day. They had NO more contingencies. The voice of the ATC controller said it all. When he let go of 1549, he was truly in despair, after going to great lengths. He put a whole career of tricks into use. As did Sully and Skiles, and the FAs. The designers of A320 also contributed, which is a fine airplane. It was a triumph by fairly ordinary men and women. They used the top level of their skill. Not a miracle IMHO, but for me it's a story of hard work.
 
LCDFlight
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Re: 12 th Anniversary Miracle on the Hudson

Mon Jan 18, 2021 7:26 pm

From a site called shortform.com:

"Who was the hero? The 155 people on board were saved by something much bigger than individual heroism and skill. It was the crew’s ability to follow vital procedures in a crisis, stay calm, and recognize where to improvise and not improvise. They operated as a team under complex and dire circumstances, having prepared to do so before the crisis.

Sully’s Hudson River landing, and team on Sully’s flight, exemplify the definition of heroism in the modern era."
 
11C
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Re: 12 th Anniversary Miracle on the Hudson

Mon Jan 18, 2021 9:32 pm

ethernal wrote:
11C wrote:
You nailed it. For someone to sit here and essentially claim that this should always end with everyone walking away is absurd. The fly by wire laws are essentially irrelevant to this event, although they were largely credited with the successful outcome in the Langewiesche article (Vanity Fair). If you are flying the airplane completely within its envelope, none of the protections in the flight laws would be active. The fact that Captain Sullenberger was a glider pilot also gets a lot of mention, and I’m sure it didn’t hurt, but he was flying an Airbus, which has little in common with flying a glider. It probably helped his assessment that none of the airports were reachable, but as someone else pointed out, dual engine out landings are not trained.
I’m also uncomfortable with the whole ‘miracle’ description, it should be more about how little time the crew had, that they made a great decision, a decision that was counter to pretty much everything in standard airline training curricula, and performed the safest landing that was available to them, all while ATC was giving distances and bearings to the several airports that they could not possibly reach. To armchair quarterback that as ‘easy’ is laughable, especially when you have a cabin full of crew and passengers with you.


I agree that the glider pilot piece and FBW piece are potentially overblown and I didn't mean to say or imply those were primary factors. They didn't make it as key items that led to good outcome in the NTSB report of course (although the #1 item - good crew decision making - is arguably tied to it). I do think that - to your point around the little time - while it is impossible to say whether or not they mattered, they certainly didn't hurt.

From bird ingestion to touchdown in water was 4 minutes... anything that reduced mental burden - whether it was experience in gliding, whether it was FBW, whether it was anything else - was an aid. You're right that "if you're flying in envelope", but not many pilots have experience flying in envelope at zero power. I'm not saying it is "hard" per se - any good pilot could do it without issue - but it is potentially an extra mental load that would distract from everything else that needed to get done over those 240 seconds. I do not pilot planes, so I cannot speak authoritatively to the actual impact. I could be completely off base.

All in all, this is a case of the metaphorical opposite of the swiss cheese model. A lot of things that potentially helped lead to a good outcome. It's hard to say which piece of the cheese was the single most critical item that stopped a complete hole from forming.


I didn’t mean to read anything into your post, I agree with your analysis. The very popular article in Vanity Fair that I mentioned definitively made the FBW system out to be largely responsible for the landing, which is absurd. Most properly flown descents are flown entirely at idle, so that is quite familiar to most pilots, but the speed reduction and configuration changes with no power would definitely be unfamiliar. There has always been a lot of emphasis on avoiding ditching, and that is still true in many cases, but this case showed us all that ditching could be the best choice. It still comes down to all the information coming at you, with very little altitude, and very little time, and still managing a good outcome. Like several others have said, there were so many bad ways it could have ended, not many good choices.
 
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AirKevin
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Re: 12 th Anniversary Miracle on the Hudson

Tue Feb 16, 2021 5:23 pm

WayexTDI wrote:
As far as unsuccessful controlled jet water ditching, Air Florida Flight 90 (1982) was somewhat controlled and resulted in 74 fatalities out of 79 souls on board (+4 on the ground).

Not sure how this would be considered even somewhat controlled. They were taking off, stalled, and went down.
WayexTDI wrote:
And Ethiopian Airlines Flight 961 (1996) was very similar to US Airways Flight 1549 yet resulted in 125 fatalities out of 175 souls on board (122 out of 172 if you exclude the 3 terrorists that precipitated that ditching).

Not sure how this would be considered similar to US Air 1549 other than ending up in the water. They hit the water engine first, which caused the plane to flip. Most of the passengers died from drowning because they inflated their life jackets before exiting the plane.
 
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ClassicLover
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Re: 12 th Anniversary Miracle on the Hudson

Tue Feb 16, 2021 7:23 pm

AirKevin wrote:
WayexTDI wrote:
As far as unsuccessful controlled jet water ditching, Air Florida Flight 90 (1982) was somewhat controlled and resulted in 74 fatalities out of 79 souls on board (+4 on the ground).

Not sure how this would be considered even somewhat controlled. They were taking off, stalled, and went down.
WayexTDI wrote:
And Ethiopian Airlines Flight 961 (1996) was very similar to US Airways Flight 1549 yet resulted in 125 fatalities out of 175 souls on board (122 out of 172 if you exclude the 3 terrorists that precipitated that ditching).

Not sure how this would be considered similar to US Air 1549 other than ending up in the water. They hit the water engine first, which caused the plane to flip. Most of the passengers died from drowning because they inflated their life jackets before exiting the plane.


You essentially wrote exactly what I was going to say! Putting Air Florida Flight 90 in this is absolutely bizarre thinking.

Also you are correct, so many more people would have survived the Ethiopian ditching had they not inflated their life jackets in the cabin before the aircraft hit the water. It's why the line in the safety video now says to inflate the jackets outside the aircraft quite specifically.
 
WayexTDI
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Re: 12 th Anniversary Miracle on the Hudson

Thu Feb 18, 2021 6:19 pm

AirKevin wrote:
WayexTDI wrote:
As far as unsuccessful controlled jet water ditching, Air Florida Flight 90 (1982) was somewhat controlled and resulted in 74 fatalities out of 79 souls on board (+4 on the ground).

Not sure how this would be considered even somewhat controlled. They were taking off, stalled, and went down.

And US Airways Flight 1549 was taking off, lost power and went down; both tried to do their best.
Notice also that I said Air Florida Flight 90 was somewhat controlled, whereas US Airways Flight 1549 had more control.

AirKevin wrote:
WayexTDI wrote:
And Ethiopian Airlines Flight 961 (1996) was very similar to US Airways Flight 1549 yet resulted in 125 fatalities out of 175 souls on board (122 out of 172 if you exclude the 3 terrorists that precipitated that ditching).

Not sure how this would be considered similar to US Air 1549 other than ending up in the water. They hit the water engine first, which caused the plane to flip. Most of the passengers died from drowning because they inflated their life jackets before exiting the plane.

Explain how the ditching for Ethiopian Airlines Flight 961 was not similar to US Airways Flight 1549: both had lost power and both did their best to ditch the aircraft. One succeeded more than the other.

I was mentioning those crashes as it was said upthread ditching was leading to lives saved and that the no lost soul result of US Airways Flight 1549 was "just another ditching"; history begs to differ.
 
FGITD
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Re: 12 th Anniversary Miracle on the Hudson

Thu Feb 18, 2021 7:09 pm

Ethiopian 961 is probably the closest example, but a tough comparison given that the flight deck was actively fighting off a hijacker simultaneously to landing. Put a couple guys in the cockpit of 1549 who are trying to crash the plane and it maybe becomes a different story. Who knows. Very impressive airmanship either way, a credit to those pilots that far more people should have survived thanks to them.

Air Florida 90 is a wild comparison. Those pilots were still trying to fly that plane until it hit the bridge. Absolutely no effort to make an emergency water landing, it just happened to crash into the river.
 
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litz
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Re: 12 th Anniversary Miracle on the Hudson

Thu Feb 18, 2021 8:18 pm

LCDFlight wrote:
FGITD wrote:
The difference between 1549 and most other documented water ditching is power and time.

Most had either power, or they had time. The Aeroflot example is interesting because they had both. They then decided to dump fuel, and try to use a pole to lower the landing gear. This led to them depleting their fuel, leaving them with no power as a result of poor airmanship. Great landing, no doubt, but also entirely unnecessary.

1549 really didn’t have much running in it’s favor. Over one of the most populated areas in the US, at low altitude, with no power. In a way, the lack of feasible options may have contributed to the success because the captain had to commit immediately to one plan.


Your last paragraph is very well done. It is a stirring story. That flight (155 lives) had a lot of strikes against them that day. They had NO more contingencies. The voice of the ATC controller said it all. When he let go of 1549, he was truly in despair, after going to great lengths. He put a whole career of tricks into use. As did Sully and Skiles, and the FAs. The designers of A320 also contributed, which is a fine airplane. It was a triumph by fairly ordinary men and women. They used the top level of their skill. Not a miracle IMHO, but for me it's a story of hard work.


The controller, after he let the flight go, was convinced they'd crashed, and was fully expecting much loss of life.

It was to his absolute amazement, after he'd been relived of duty and escorted to a break room, that someone turned on the TV showing the news reports and he realized the plane had safely landed in the river.

Regarding ET961, it actually hit a reef with the wingtip, which tore the entire wing off. The opposite wing, still generating lift, then flipped the fuselage in a roll.

The drag of the engine in the water was secondary (really only helping "remove" the wing after it had broken from the reef impact)
 
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AirKevin
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Re: 12 th Anniversary Miracle on the Hudson

Thu Feb 18, 2021 9:06 pm

WayexTDI wrote:
AirKevin wrote:
WayexTDI wrote:
As far as unsuccessful controlled jet water ditching, Air Florida Flight 90 (1982) was somewhat controlled and resulted in 74 fatalities out of 79 souls on board (+4 on the ground).

Not sure how this would be considered even somewhat controlled. They were taking off, stalled, and went down.

And US Airways Flight 1549 was taking off, lost power and went down; both tried to do their best.
Notice also that I said Air Florida Flight 90 was somewhat controlled, whereas US Airways Flight 1549 had more control.

US Airways 1549 got up to around 2,800 feet when they lost both engines, so they had a bit of time and altitude to work with before attempting a water landing. Air Florida 90 didn't even get past 400 feet before they stalled, and they certainly weren't attempting a water landing, so like I said, I'm not sure how it would even be considered somewhat controlled. That would be like trying to compare it to Silkair 185 or Air France 447 since both flights also ended up in the water.
WayexTDI wrote:
AirKevin wrote:
WayexTDI wrote:
And Ethiopian Airlines Flight 961 (1996) was very similar to US Airways Flight 1549 yet resulted in 125 fatalities out of 175 souls on board (122 out of 172 if you exclude the 3 terrorists that precipitated that ditching).

Not sure how this would be considered similar to US Air 1549 other than ending up in the water. They hit the water engine first, which caused the plane to flip. Most of the passengers died from drowning because they inflated their life jackets before exiting the plane.

Explain how the ditching for Ethiopian Airlines Flight 961 was not similar to US Airways Flight 1549: both had lost power and both did their best to ditch the aircraft. One succeeded more than the other.

One of them also had hijackers on board trying to take control, so I wouldn't call it a fair comparison based on the fact that one of them was fully controlled whereas the other was only somewhat controlled given the circumstances.
 
WayexTDI
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Re: 12 th Anniversary Miracle on the Hudson

Thu Feb 18, 2021 10:34 pm

AirKevin wrote:
WayexTDI wrote:
AirKevin wrote:
Not sure how this would be considered even somewhat controlled. They were taking off, stalled, and went down.

And US Airways Flight 1549 was taking off, lost power and went down; both tried to do their best.
Notice also that I said Air Florida Flight 90 was somewhat controlled, whereas US Airways Flight 1549 had more control.

US Airways 1549 got up to around 2,800 feet when they lost both engines, so they had a bit of time and altitude to work with before attempting a water landing. Air Florida 90 didn't even get past 400 feet before they stalled, and they certainly weren't attempting a water landing, so like I said, I'm not sure how it would even be considered somewhat controlled. That would be like trying to compare it to Silkair 185 or Air France 447 since both flights also ended up in the water.
WayexTDI wrote:
AirKevin wrote:
Not sure how this would be considered similar to US Air 1549 other than ending up in the water. They hit the water engine first, which caused the plane to flip. Most of the passengers died from drowning because they inflated their life jackets before exiting the plane.

Explain how the ditching for Ethiopian Airlines Flight 961 was not similar to US Airways Flight 1549: both had lost power and both did their best to ditch the aircraft. One succeeded more than the other.

One of them also had hijackers on board trying to take control, so I wouldn't call it a fair comparison based on the fact that one of them was fully controlled whereas the other was only somewhat controlled given the circumstances.

Given that no 2 accidents have the same exact circumstances, then we should stop comparing them I guess; all the way up to the original comment about "well, all water landings ended up in no loss of life, so it ain't a miracle".
 
kaitak
Posts: 10109
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Re: 12 th Anniversary Miracle on the Hudson

Fri Feb 19, 2021 6:42 am

I knew Capt. Sullenberger is long retired, but is Bill Skile still flying? He was about 49 at the time and would be about 61 now, so still quite possibly flying.

Thanks Musang, for the reference to the Tarom 154 at Monrovia; I had honestly never heard of that one. In that case, the aircraft ditched - unintentionally while attempting to land at Nouadhibou, Mauretania, about 300m short of the runway. All but 1 of the 168 on board survived. The pax were sailors, changing crew on two Romanian ships there. The engines continued to run for some time after the crash, which helped to keep the sharks away!
 
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AirKevin
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Re: 12 th Anniversary Miracle on the Hudson

Fri Feb 19, 2021 8:10 am

WayexTDI wrote:
AirKevin wrote:
WayexTDI wrote:
And US Airways Flight 1549 was taking off, lost power and went down; both tried to do their best.
Notice also that I said Air Florida Flight 90 was somewhat controlled, whereas US Airways Flight 1549 had more control.

US Airways 1549 got up to around 2,800 feet when they lost both engines, so they had a bit of time and altitude to work with before attempting a water landing. Air Florida 90 didn't even get past 400 feet before they stalled, and they certainly weren't attempting a water landing, so like I said, I'm not sure how it would even be considered somewhat controlled. That would be like trying to compare it to Silkair 185 or Air France 447 since both flights also ended up in the water.
WayexTDI wrote:
Explain how the ditching for Ethiopian Airlines Flight 961 was not similar to US Airways Flight 1549: both had lost power and both did their best to ditch the aircraft. One succeeded more than the other.

One of them also had hijackers on board trying to take control, so I wouldn't call it a fair comparison based on the fact that one of them was fully controlled whereas the other was only somewhat controlled given the circumstances.

Given that no 2 accidents have the same exact circumstances, then we should stop comparing them I guess; all the way up to the original comment about "well, all water landings ended up in no loss of life, so it ain't a miracle".

Not quite what I said, but a better comparison would have been Northwest Orient 2, Pan Am 6, and ALM 980 given all of those were planned water landings. Yes, Ethiopian 961 was planning a water landing after they lost sight of the airport, but you can't have hijackers on board trying to take control of the plane as they're trying to execute the landing and expect good results to happen. And if you're going to add Air Florida 90 to the list, why don't we add Silkair 185, Air France 447, Atlas Air 3591, Lion Air 610, Miami Air 293, Swissair 111, and Aeroperu 603 to that list since all of them ended up in the water.
 
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InnsbruckFlyer
Posts: 373
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Re: 12 th Anniversary Miracle on the Hudson

Fri Feb 19, 2021 8:47 am

kaitak wrote:
I knew Capt. Sullenberger is long retired, but is Bill Skile still flying? He was about 49 at the time and would be about 61 now, so still quite possibly flying.

Thanks Musang, for the reference to the Tarom 154 at Monrovia; I had honestly never heard of that one. In that case, the aircraft ditched - unintentionally while attempting to land at Nouadhibou, Mauretania, about 300m short of the runway. All but 1 of the 168 on board survived. The pax were sailors, changing crew on two Romanian ships there. The engines continued to run for some time after the crash, which helped to keep the sharks away!


As of 2019, Jeff Skiles was an AA 787 FO based in ORD.
 
seb76
Posts: 91
Joined: Tue May 20, 2008 5:02 pm

Re: 12 th Anniversary Miracle on the Hudson

Fri Feb 19, 2021 10:35 am

jreeves96 wrote:
Things I've leanred in my 24 years... never fly with Tom Hank, go to space with Tom Hanks, or get on a boat with Tom Hanks.

All jokes aside, the ditch was exeucted perfectly. A truly one in a millon landing.


The same goes for Kennedy family members. I always told I would never fly with them ... but they don't invite me anyway ;-)

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