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  1. #1
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Miracle On The Hudson

    I know the world has seen this story, but it's close to my heart after the Lexington tragedy of a couple of years ago! Reading the pilot's bio paints a pretty clear picture of the kind of man he is, obviously confirmed by the surviving passengers and USA authorities! My local paper this morning has a still shot on the front page of the plane almost down and I'm continuing to look for more.

    Plane in Hudson tells story of what went right, NTSB says

  2. #2
    5 Star Lounger
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    Re: Miracle On The Hudson

    Al, here is a video from a Coast Guard camera. While you don't actually see the moment of ... impact ... you can see it decelerating and shortly after the ferries approaching. Just after 2.00 minutes before you see anything

    Also you will note, in the background, Concorde!

    Miracle is probably a little strong, buy many coincidences made a happy ending. i.e. Knowledgeable and experienced Captain, Captain also has glider experience, fast flowing river (reducing impact) in direction of travel, 'calm' surface, came to stop at point near many surface transport nearby.

    Hero? Well Yes - but this IS what they are paid to do. And in this case he (and the rest of his crew) did an excellent job!

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    Re: Miracle On The Hudson

    Al, an interesting report in the New York Times (Subscription might be necessary).

    Good news - they got the aeroplane up and out of the water before any of the fuel could leak out, and they got the (Jupiter-coloured) "Black" boxes. From the interviews from the Flight Deck crew it showed no panic and very good CRM (Crew Resource Management) - appears to be little doubt and no confusion on who was responsible for what!

    Something for the manufacturers to think about - they lost all electricity (well - duh!) once they were in the water meaning that PA system stopped working. Instruction to evacuate was yelled from the cabin door, that might not always be available.

  4. #4
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: Miracle On The Hudson

    Thanks Bowlie, that IS a good followup report. Lots of reading and photos.

  5. #5
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    Re: Miracle On The Hudson

    >Miracle is probably a little strong,
    Agreed.
    Perhaps the greatest contribution goes unsung - hundreds if not thousands of engineers who did their job and designed and built a plane that could execute a controlled glide from (?)3,000 feet and survive a landing on water which is, I suspect, like concrete at (?) 160mph.

    Designing a 'plane that floats for long enough to get the passengers off is sound engineering too.

    I'm annoyed at the newspaper reports that say the odds of both engines being struck are "astronomical"; it seems to me that if you hit a flock of birds ("large object"), your chances of a second engine going out are pretty close to the odds of the first engine going out, and it is not multiplicative.

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    Re: Miracle On The Hudson

    >>>and survive a landing on water which is, I suspect, like concrete at (/) 160mph.

    I think they impacted around 100 Knots (115mph / 185 kph) but in the direction of the fast-flowing water which reduced the relative speed a few kts more. It was still a significant impact (one passenger broke both legs) but a survivable one!

    >>>I'm annoyed at the newspaper reports that say the odds of both engines being struck are "astronomical"; it seems to me that if you hit a flock of birds ("large object"), your chances of a second engine going out are pretty close to the odds of the first engine going out, and it is not multiplicative.

    The engines are designed to withstand (i.e. to be able to provide at least 50% power) collision with a large bird. In this incident, if the engines performed to spec (and there is no reason to assume otherwise) each engine collided with at least (and probably more than) two large birds. The odds of that happening are very high. You are correct odds of both engines being struck is not much higher than a single engine, but the odds of both engines failing is much higher than just one.

    The industry will learn from this, as they do from all accidents, meaning flying will become even safer.

  7. #7
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    Re: Miracle On The Hudson

    >flying will become even safer.
    For the birds too, I hope.

    What are you doing up this early in the morning?
    I have an excuse.
    (later) oh. Duh! <img src=/S/flags/Switzerland.gif border=0 alt=Switzerland width=18 height=18>

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    Re: Miracle On The Hudson

    >>>What are you doing up this early in the morning?

    Actually having a late Lunch! <img src=/S/yum.gif border=0 alt=yum width=15 height=15>

  9. #9
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    Re: Miracle On The Hudson

    <hr>Instruction to evacuate was yelled from the cabin door<hr>
    Back in the early 70s there was a bull horn stowed just aft of the cockpit (Air Canada). I wonder why there wasn't one available in this instance.
    Regards
    Don

  10. #10
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    Re: Miracle On The Hudson

    Why can't they have large gauge grills in font of engines, ie something that would let air go through but stop birds?

  11. #11
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    Re: Miracle On The Hudson

    Presumably because at the speed of a modern jet the grill would allow sliced bird through with no difficulty.

    StuartR

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    Re: Miracle On The Hudson

    Yes, and more importantly ice would build up on the grill and would break off and fall into the engines. Anything, other than air (and possibly pollen) damages and breaks the fan blades.

    Some years ago a Scandianvian Airlines flight taking off from Stockholm lost both engines due to ice (which had formed on the wings) breaking off and hitting the tail-mounted engines. It landed in a field some kms from the airport, but everyone survived that one too.

  13. #13
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    Re: Miracle On The Hudson

    >I wonder why there wasn't one available in this instance.
    Probably the TTC borrowed it to direct subway passengers onto shuttle buses so that the passengers could re board the train they just left a few stations down the route.
    Did you read the report that the trains could run the entire route Kennedy-Kipling, they had their own power, but the signaling power was out, so while the trains were running, passengers had to 'bus?

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    Engine hints at damage from 'unusually large bird'

    From press reports 22/01/09:

    Engine hints at damage from "unusually large bird"

    New York police divers are still searching the Hudson River for the left engine from US Airways Flight 1549, even as the right engine yields clues to the mishap. Sonar operators believe they located the left engine in about 60 feet of water, and divers hope to raise it today. Meanwhile, The Wall Street Journal is reporting that "substantial damage" to the right engine indicates "it may have sucked in an unusually large bird, or multiple birds." Investigators are still checking into reported engine problems two days earlier, but experts say that incident probably had no bearing on last week's splash landing.

    (Hope it wasn't Rudolf, on his way home after his Caribbean vacation!)

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    Re: Miracle On The Hudson

    Yes, you are correct about that MD-81, in 1991.

    Clear ice from the wings went into the engines and made them surge.

    There was a "hero" at that time beside the crew doing what they could; another SAS captain as a passenger, travelling to Denmark for his work, ran in to assist the captain and the first officer, perhaps against all rules, but he was welcomed. At around 1380 feet (420 m) they were still in clouds, the ceiling was at around 200-300 m!

    So it was short story, and they had to chose a frozen field, but hit some trees before touchdown. No deaths; with 129 passengers they, at least initially reported only 7 injured, though some had a bad injury, the majority just walked out on to the field.

    AFAIK no fire; lost it wings and went into three pieces. In that accident, the controlled crash-landing, one could talk about both luck and great skill at crew part. So, indeed a lucky end.

    The DC-9/MD-80 etc. should and can work with just one engine, but in this case they got clear ice in both engines and in both to that degree that they surged and failed.

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