January 18, 2009

U.S. Airways Flight 1549

Courtesy of CNN.

Click here for the full screen option (if it's still available):

And, speaking of amazing landings, I saw this one a few months ago and figured I'd hunt it down again:

Y'know, I remember years and years ago, when someone had asked Willie Mays about his amazing catch in the 1954 World Series, if he had any idea of what a special, momentus, iconic catch that that catch was about to become.

Willie winked at that guy and said, "I had it all the way".

That's what I remember when I see this "landing".

Cap'n "Sully" had a predicament. He knew what it was.

He responded just as his training and humanity had taught him to respond: Immediately.

He couldn't get back to LaGuardia nor could he make it to New Jersey. "We're gonna be in the Hudson" he told told 'em.
Obviously, he had already set his sights on the watery runway, just because there was nowhere else to set his machine's sights on.

He took aim and, with both engines dead, glided her along.

And, because he thought he ought to, told the passengers over the intercom that they should "brace for impact".

It was a hard landing. Why? Because the left engine failed to shear off as it was designed to do, and the plane took a vicious turn in those first seconds.

It was a soft landing. Why? Because the pilot had a problem that he knew, given his location, had the opportunity to fix.

No time to return to LaGuardia. check.
No time to make to New Jersey's airport. check.
Hudsun River available. check.

From there to splash-down it's just a matter of making it as soft a crash as possible.

I've never piloted a plane and I'm not going to pretend to know what he thought in those minutes.

But, I think, that when Cap'n Sully finally speaks he'll just tell us that he **pfft** had it all the way.

Posted by Tuning Spork at 02:48 AM | Comments (1033) | TrackBack
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