In the likely event of a water landing

Good, tight story of what happened on . In the International Herald Tribune.

By the way, somewhere in this weekend’s Prairie Home Companion, Garrison Keillor sings a delightful tribute to the crew of flight 1549. Heard it live yesterday. The show is running again today on many public stations. Public Radio Fan has times and stations. If you have an iPhone, catch it on your free Public Radio Tuner.

Speaking of which, our first planned VRM feature for the tuner is a “listen log”, to answer “What was that?” questions and to provide fun data that’s yours (not anybody else’s) to do with what you wish.

If you have other features you’d like, on this tuner or on future ones (not just on the iPhone — that’s just where you’ll see it first), let us know.


  1. Andrew Leyden’s avatar

    Good section in Popular Mechanics about the whole ditching process and whatnot.

  2. Jodi with Atlanta Homes Sale’s avatar

    As the spouse of an airline pilot it bothers me that the first officer didn’t get more mention. He very well may have even been the one to perform the landing…

  3. Doc Searls’s avatar

    Jodi, the story linked above says this:

    The account offered Saturday night by the U.S. safety agency – based on interviews conducted with the plane’s crew – had numerous startling elements, not the least of which was the fact that Sullenberger, who has been hailed by the mayor of New York and President George W. Bush for his skill and bravery, was not at the controls at takeoff.

    Instead, the plane’s first officer, 49-year-old Jeffrey Skiles, was in control. A 23-year veteran of the airline, he had just 35 hours of flying time in an Airbus A320. But as soon as the plane encountered the birds, at about 3,000 feet, or 900 meters, and the engines quit nearly simultaneously, Sullenberger, 58, took over.

    With little thrust, and with airspeed falling sharply, Sullenberger lowered the nose to keep his plane from falling out of the sky. And he set his co-pilot to work at moving through a three-page checklist of procedures for restarting both engines.

    It goes on from there. But you’re right that the first officer got scant mention at first. At least he’s getting more now.

  4. Jodi with Atlanta Homes Sale’s avatar

    Thanks for filling in the blanks there! Even though the first officer has 23 years with the airline only 35 hours in an Airbus A320 makes him pretty green to that airplane. That coupled with the fact that the captain has had experience in gliders would make sense that the captain should take control.

  5. Steve Skra’s avatar

    I had no idea about the issue with the first officer. interesting.

  6. Steve - Business Broker’s avatar

    Conspiracy theory or not, it raises questions.

  7. Jodi with Atlanta Homes Sale’s avatar

    Its unfortunate that the latest accident in Buffalo could not have had a similar happy ending. In the end it most likely will be pilot error from what the NTSB has been saying.

  8. Kelly - Helping People in Chexsystems’s avatar

    Has any new information come out of this story in the past 8 months, or is it pretty much getting swept under the rug?

Comments are now closed.