That’s almost as far as it got.
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FLIGHTAWARE BREAKING NEWS
US Airways flight #1549 (an Airbus A320) from New York, NY (LGA) to Charlotte, NC (CLT) crashed into the Hudson River today (January 15, 2009) around 3:30pm EST, less than six minutes after takeoff. The maximum altitude was 3200 feet before the aircraft began a descent into the water.
Plane appears intact. Helicopters and ferries responding. FAA is reporting all passengers are out of the plane, and a secondary search is underway.
Early unconfirmed reports are that the aircraft hit a flock of geese. CNN reports that a pilot of the airliner reported a bird strike to air traffic control after takeoff.
FlightAware Discussion Forums: Airliner Down
If FlightAware calls the flight USA1549, that’s how I’m going to call and tag it.
More as I can write about it, sitting here at a pharmacy in Cambridge. As of now, it appears that all passengers and crew got out alive. Amazing. Some great piloting there. And a sobering lesson in listening to pre-flight safety pitches.
Reallhy helps that the plane stayed intact (from what we can see). Amazing job landing — actually, ditching — the thing. Wow.
5pm, on FlightAware:
USA1549 (web site) (all flights)
|Aircraft||Airbus A320 (twin-jet) (A320/Q)|
|Origin||La Guardia (KLGA)|
|Destination||Charlotte/Douglas Intl (KCLT)|
|Other flights between these airports|
|Route||BIGGY J75 GVE LYH SUDSY3 (Decode)|
|Date||Thursday, Jan 15, 2009|
|Duration||1 hours 44 minutes|
11 minutes left
1 hour 32 minutes
|Status||En Route (No recent position)|
|Departure||03:04PM EST||03:26PM EST|
|Arrival||04:38PM EST||05:10PM EST|
|Speed||455 kts||153 kts|
|Altitude||36000 feet||300 feet|
Want to get that down before it scrolls away.
How long before video of the plane landing, shot from a ferry or shore, shows up on the tubes?
From a FlightAware post, ship number 106 (N106US, Airbus A320-214, delivered August 2, 1999)
Jumping in the subway now. More later.
Tags: aviation, Chesley Sullenberger, crash, dead stick, dead stick landing, flight, flightaware, geese, hudson, hudsonriver, plane, plane crash, planecrash, Sullenbergerger, Sully, usa1549
I had always mocked the little image of the “water landing” in the seatback safety guide, under the assumption that water is hard at high speeds and the plane would break up on impact. The early images I saw showing up in Twitter looked almost exactly like that though – the plane upright, floating on the water, with escape slides/rafts deployed. I guess that runway overruns into water at relatively low speed are much more likely given typical airport locations.
Interesting tidbit here:
“And there is credit for the French-based European Airbus firm for building a tough airliner. Among other things, unlike Boeings, the Airbus has an emergency “Ditch button”, which closes vents and makes the fuselage more watertight. Airbus pilots have always been sceptical about the button, on the overhead panel. Today, they are saying today “Oh, so that’s what it’s for.””
Pingback from Doc Searls Weblog · Following USA1549 on January 16, 2009 at 12:15 pm
Ditch button, bitch button. That little button only closes the cabin pressurization outflow valves (I believe there is only one such valve on the A320) and it is NOT the reason why the plane floated for such a long time. It floated because the pilot did an amazing job keeping the airplane from breaking into pieces during the ditch landing. Even with all the valves wide open, the aircraft would have still floated long enough for all the people to easily escape.
Back when jet fuel was far less than a dollar per gallon, aircraft manufacturers didn’t build their fuselages very air tight. The pressurization systems just used more bleed air from the engines and let a lot of pressurized and conditioned cabin air escape through numerous leaks in the fuselage. Once jet fuel became extremely pricey, the newer airliners were constructed with much more air tight seals — the result is less fuel consumption per passenger mile. The bad news is that while this might save your life in the unlikely event of a “skilled” emergency water landing, the newer jets retain more stale cabin air with a lot more bacteria and viruses floating around for everyone to breathe. Happy travels!
Please, please get your facts right…
The ditch button closes the outflow valve, emergency ram air inlet, avionics inlet, extract valve and flow control valve and cabin fans. This is to allow the aircraft to exceed aircraft buoyancy requirements in the event the aircraft remains intact after it has been ditched, so lives can be saved.
The ditch button is available on all European Airbus A320 family, A340/A330 and A380 aircraft. European Airbus pilots undergo ditch scenarios to land the airbus successfully on water and parameters required to maximise the likelihood of keeping the plane intact. i.e. pitch angle, flaps, apporach speed. etc. In this situation the Captain got it right and the plane was left intact after it was ditched. The airbus design stood up to what it was designed to do, simple as that.
Boeing, unfortunately, does not have such a facility. Hopefully they will see sense and follow the Europeans and install it in all their new aircraft.
Well done Captain and well done Airbus.
I worked for Airbus, France till two years ago when I was in Europe so I know a little bit about these things!
I hope this helps to clear things.
Excuuuuuse ME! I forgot about the little tiny dinky other inlets! Beat me with a shovel.
Also, the word is “out” that a panic-crazed passenger cracked/opened a rear cabin door, letting thousands of gallons of water flow into the cabin during the emergency evac.
Accordingly, the “ditch button” is more for mental masturbation than for anything real or useful.
Fark you very much!
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