January 16, 2009

Our hero!

"Where am I going to go? City? City? River."


Bissage said...

Dude kicks ass.

A parade and monument are called for.

Simon said...

If I see that guy in an airport bar, I'm buying him a drink!

Hmm. Maybe lunch would be a better idea. But awfully good show, fella.

Larry J said...

Interesting enough, the pilot is experienced at flying gliders, something he may have learned when attending the Air Force Academy. You have to be smooth and coordinated to fly gliders well. I'm considering getting my glider rating this year to become a better pilot.

Good stick.

Richard Fagin said...

That was a damn fine piece of flying! I'm with Bisssage on the parade. Be sure to invite all the boat captains who got those folks off the plane in only five minutes.

Simply amazing.

rhhardin said...

Imus's Bernard McGuirk wonders where he will be seated on the inauguration stage.

Signs of media hype discontent.

kjbe said...

God bless the pilot and crew. Brilliant flying indeed. Seeing that plane in the middle of the Hudson river, passengers huddled on the wing, ferries racing over to collect them - incredible. I truly can not believe there were no fatalities. Miraculous. Congratulations on a job very well done.

And a hat's-off to the co-pilot, from Oregon, WI.

ricpic said...

Glenn Beck is calling it a miracle. I don't know about that but it was very fortunate that due to the cold the Hudson had been closed to traffic.

William said...

If it turns out that he is a Republican, we will soon hear from his digruntled first wife or whatever.

traditionalguy said...

The pilot looks a little Swedish. Is he a cousin to Lucky Lindy? The NYC community should throw a full parade for him like the Heroes of days gone by. Good job Sully.

George M. Spencer said...

Something like this happened in 1975. Mid-air collision involving a jumbo jet and a twin-engine private plane. I'm surprised people have forgotten. Safe landing, too.

The Drill SGT said...

He was good, he was lucky, but at the same time, he used the basic four rules that are taught to all novice pilots.

Engine Problem?

1. put the plane in "best Glide slope" attitude. this buys you time to deal with the issues and sets you up for success.

2. attempt engine restart, while

3. Look for a flat spot to land. once found, the pilot or the co-pilot never lets it get out of view

4. call for help. nobody can change what's gonna happen but it's nice to let folks know you are having problems :)

as I said in the earlier post. As far as I know there have never ever been a successful jet landing in the ocean and this may be only the second jet landing on open water. Everything else you read about is aborted take-offs and the plane slides out onto muddy tidal flats.

Interesting side note. In all the hoopla, the press failed to do the side story about the environmental disaster, etc.

the plane has 30,000 litres of av gas leakng into the Hudson

duck payback :)

Michael Haz said...

Hero is correct. That guy won't ever have to buy his own dinner in NYC.

rhhardin said...

Professional pilots probably wind up with glider experience because they always liked the idea of flying, and you can solo a glider at age 14. You have to wait to 16 for powered aircraft.

The Drill SGT said...

basic four rules that are taught to all novice pilots.

I should have 4 basic rules for fixed wing pilots. For helo's the rules are simple:

Engine Problem?

1. Put it on the ground ASAP

2. attempt engine restart, after checking engine thoroughly :)

themightypuck said...

Vis the environmental impact, I wonder if the fact that the plane was carrying a lot of fuel helped keep it afloat so nicely?

Simon said...

The Drill SGT said...
"For helo's the rules are simple: Engine Problem? 1. Put it on the ground ASAP"

That part is pretty much guaranteed no matter what you do.

bearing said...


If the plane had had less fuel inside it, it would have had more air inside it instead.

Air is less dense than fuel.

So, no.

bearing said...

Oh, and without taking away from the fantastic work the pilot did -- particularly in being the last to leave - - how about a shout out to the flight attendants and to the passengers who operated the emergency exits and helped keep everyone calm while they exited the plane?

It would be nice to think I'd be calm and useful in such a situation, but knowing myself I rather think I'd be more like the mother with a baby described in some of the news reports as having tried to crawl over the seats to get to the exit.

rhhardin said...

Armstrong and Getty: it's a good thing they didn't get one of those drunken airline pilots.

Henry said...

Going back to the police officer's restraint in the video posted yesterday, adding Mr. Sullenberger's feat, Bob Dylan's radio show (why not), and the transition of power from Bush to Obama, I think the Althouse theme this week is calm professionalism.

Even the hippies in Tompkins sq. Park are tripping in style.

The Drill SGT said...

how about a shout out to the flight attendants and to the passengers who operated the emergency exits and helped keep everyone calm while they exited the plane?

It would be nice to think I'd be calm and useful in such a situation,

Reminds me of my best airline emergency story, while flying to Detroit (Ann Arbor) on business my boss and I were sitting in the first row across from the Stew. We came in for an approach, and pulled up, came around again, and aborted a second time. still no explanation. Then the pilot came on the intercom and said,

"well we've finally got a green light on the nose wheel so we're going to try again. Cabin attendants secure the cabin and take your stations"

Our young Stew, cinched back her harness and turned to my boss and I and said, "if I have trouble with the door, whill you block for me?"

remember the pressure doors swing in before folding out, so you need room on the inside to make that happen.

We assured her that we were both former Army officers and would keep the crowd off.

The actually landing was uneventful except for the crash trucks on the sides of the runway chasing us down the field.

chuck b. said...

He's from Danville, CA. From the news it sounds like Danville has big festivities in the works.

His wife declined to speak with the media but his neighbors were effusive, although it was hard to tell if many of them actually knew him.

knox said...

It would be nice to think I'd be calm and useful in such a situation

Last night we were watching "I Survived..." and one of the interviews was with a couple who were hiking, when the man was attacked by a mountain lion.

The woman beat the lion with a log and forced a pen into its eye, but the lion still wouldn't let go of her husband's head. She finally landed a blow on its snout and it took off.

I thought a lot about how I would behave in a situation like that. I'd like to think I'd be like that woman in The Descent who just goes totally primal. But I'm afraid I'd probably be a quivering frantic mess.

Tibore said...

His passengers mostly were able to walk away (once they got on land, that is), save for a few that were injured (I think there was one person with a pair of broken legs). And nobody died. Excellent landing on the part of the pilot.

Granted, some people are going just a tad overboard celebrating that pilot's accomplishment for him - the linked article has a commentor invoking a ticker-tape parade - but at the same time, I think the pilot himself, as well as his right-seater and the rest of the crew deserve praise for handling one hell of a bad situation well. Again, no lost lives. Damn good result period, damn good job on the part of the pilot, period, damn good job on the part of the rest of the crew, period.

Anyone remember Capt. Al Haynes, the pilot of the '89 Sioux City Iowa crash? That guy did one hell of a job too. HIs story is more tragic because of the deaths, but his plane was far more crippled. It's amazing that he was able to do as well as he did. Thank goodness some damn fine people are making it to the cockpit in that industry.

אלוהים said...
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rhhardin said...

Armstrong and Getty think the reason it's still women and children first, even in days of anger at doors being held open, because men like to look at their butts.

rhhardin said...

Armstrong and Getty predict the pilot gets a book out of it, ``Landing on the Runway of Life'' or something.

All the jokes are about the media frenzy protocol. Why is that?

Host with the Most said...

Comments are pouring in (over 1500 so far)over on the Facebook site "Fans of Sully Sullenberger!"

Host with the Most said...

Sullenberger's co-pilot was Jeff Skiles, 49, of Oregon, Wis., a 23-year US Airways veteran.

Anonymous said...

He looks more like Don Knotts than like Leslie Nielsen

Fred Drinkwater said...

"Aviate, Navigate, Communicate"

He did them right (and in the right order).

Also: One of the first things I learned in training was this:

Federal Aviation Regulations:
Sec. 91.3 - Responsibility and authority of the pilot in command.

(a) The pilot in command of an aircraft is directly responsible for, and is the final authority as to, the operation of that aircraft.

(b) In an in-flight emergency requiring immediate action, the pilot in command may deviate from any rule of this part to the extent required to meet that emergency.

(c) Each pilot in command who deviates from a rule under paragraph (b) of this section shall, upon the request of the Administrator, send a written report of that deviation to the Administrator.

This is one of the clearest and most profound statements of individual responsibility around anywhere these days. Want to be a pilot?

kjbe said...

Props to all those involved in yesterdays amazing rescue - turns out that almost everyone involved, top to bottom, was a union member: the pilot, the flight attendants, the air traffic controllers, the ferry crews, and the cops and firemen.

MadisonMan said...

I don't think it's a miracle. I think it's the result of hard work and many hours of training for just this kind of event.

Kudos to the pilots (including the ones who flew me today!) for jobs well done after many hours in the cockpit and in training simulators.

Michael Haz said...

My favorite flying story:

At one time in my career, I ran a division of a Fortune 500 sized privately held corporation. As my role required travel to plants in other states, I had access to corporate aircraft. Our hangar was at an exurban airport that was essentially closed after sunset.

Arriving home after a long day of travel with a coterie that included the mercurial president of the company, we found that our airport was fogged in.

The president demanded that the pilot try a second approach, then a third. The pilot insisted on landing in XX, a large city that would require a 1.5 hour car trip to get home after landing.

The president wouldn't have it and demanded that the pilot try another approach to our home airport.

The plane leveled off, and after a moment the pilot came out of the cockpit and sat down next to the president. His first words: "You land the sonofabitch. I'll sit here and piss at you."

We landed at the big airport and drove home.

bearbee said...

Could Sky have helped prevented a collision?