Would You Say He Is One Hell Of A Pilot?
Jan 15 2009, 10:10 PM
Group: Active Forum Pilot
Joined: 1-March 07
Member No.: 710
a successful landing on water. with everyone surviving. with the aircraft not breaking up.
i saw the craft in the water surrounded by rescue boats.
i listened to a passenger on npr.
and later saw a weather channel muppet reporting that the craft landed in the hudson just west of 48th street.
just west of my taichi sensai. i telephoned him. he told me that he was on the banks of the hudson when it happened. he was at the 44th street pier. he watched it happen. he said that the airbus descended until it was about 10-20ft above the water, then the nose lifted, and the plane settled onto the hudson.
he said that all kinds of watercraft appeared to have been prepositioned because the airbus was virtually immediately surrounded. by fdny waterboats to circleline ferry.
he said that he was watching it as it was framed by the uss intrepid.
i asked him if he got pix[he always carries his camera, except when he doesn't]. he said that because he was teaching a class, we was cameraless. and then in the background, his wife said, "what about your cellphone camera?".
he completely forgot that the phone was more than just a phone.
way too sad. he was in the right place at the right time.
i close this way. i am astonished by the skill and presence of mind of that pilot/copilot. if the story that they lost both engines on climb-out from LGA is accurate, they were damned good and professional to have landed the bird on water and saved everyone. in my book, that may be the commercial piloting nobel prizewinning feat.
Jan 24 2009, 12:22 AM
Group: Active Forum Pilot
Joined: 1-March 07
Member No.: 710
i think you missed my point.
don't forget, i initiated this thread heralding the performance of this usair crew.
whatever was the cause, a dead stick landing in the hudson river, with a crew that saved[and accounted for] all souls on 1549 was the zenith of piloting and captaincy skills.
as i said, i didn't want to be a killjoy. but usair is in bankruptcy. and i have recollections of how other airlines performed during their bankruptcy.
i cited a few. frank lorenzo's continental. ual after it took over panam's pacific routes. aa after it took over panam's south american routes.
in each of these instances, my life was jeopardized by mismanagement.
one of my favorite stories involves a continental flight that was intended to depart LGA nonstop for IAH.
the bird was a 727.
i was sitting in first class, bulkhead, aisle.
it was winter.
everyone was on board. the craft was closed. but, we didn't move off the gate.
and we sat there.
finally, the captain came on the intercom and told us that we were overgross....that fuel was going to have to be removed from the craft.
so we waited for that pumping to occur. but it didn't happen with any rapidity.
eventually, the captain came on the intercom and advised us that LGA had a rule that an aircraft could only stay on a gate for so long, that we had exceeded that time, so the craft was going to have to be pushed back while we awaited the pumping out of excess fuel.
i suspected that this was bullshit. that what had happened was that continental's credit had been maxed out, and that it couldn't afford a full fueling.
i wanted off the plane. no way the flight crew said.
so, we captives tolerated the adventure.
we were pushed off the gate. awaiting the defueling.
after an hour, that occurred.
now, we were certain that we were going to be suitable for launching.
apparently not. the captain came on the intercom to tell us that we could not depart unless we were signed off from a gate...so we would have to go back to a gate. unfortunately, all were occupied.
finally, we got back to a gate. but there seemed to be new problems. which could not be accessed from the jetway. that door remained closed. probably because continental hypothesized we would all escape via that door. so the rear entry to the 727 was opened.
gate agents, etc entered via this access.
and we continued to sit on the gate.
there was a rock and roll group in this first class compartment. motley crue. they tired of this nonsense. and at some point, got up and ran back and down the rear stairs. sigh. they were arrested. and this added to our departure delay.
eventually we departed LGA.
about an hour after departure, this bird began to descend. i recall that i was the only one to catch this. i went up towards the flight deck to question a flight attendant.
she told me that too much fuel had been pumped out at LGA. that there wasn't enough left to make it to IAH. so we were going to land at IAD to add fuel.
which we did.
now, one would think that we would have had enough fuel to make it to IAH.
BUT NO. an hour out of houston, this bird started another descent. we landed at little rock, ark. so as to take on more fuel. but, the ground support services were in bed. no commercial aircraft appeared at that hour.
so, we sat around for 3 hours.
it was the flight from hell. ordinarily, LGA-IAH is a 4 hour flight. in this instance, i think it became a 20 hour flight.
what was governing the fueling of the aircraft? continental's credit situation.
now, this experience may have no bearing on usair 1549. still, i have a very jaundiced opinion of commercial airline companies in bankruptcy.
and of course, you are correct, rob, that we should wait for the ntsb report. but, if you have been reading anything that i have reported about the ntsb, it is an entity not deserving of any support. rarely is it to be believed.
reportedly, the ntsb has told us that at least one engine was the victim of a compressor stall within days of this accident. and this was written up.
i close this way...chesley and his crew performed magnificently. i said this at the get go.
on the other hand, was something missed in preflight?
it is entirely possible that both engines collided with birds simultaneously.
but there is something gnawing at me about an airline company in bankruptcy and its maintenance standards.
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