Skip to comments.Jetliner lifted out of icy Hudson River
Posted on 01/17/2009 10:06:31 PM PST by rdl6989
NTSB: Pilot feared 'catastrophic' crash as he looked for place to go down.
NEW YORK - Salvage crews used a large crane to lift a downed US Airways jet from the Hudson River late Saturday.
The jetliner looked battle-scarred as it inched up from the water late Saturday, carried by five large slings. Much of the top half of the aircraft appeared as though it might be ready for takeoff a stark contrast with the charred-looking right wing, and the destroyed right engine, which appeared as though the outside had been peeled off.
The metal on the bottom of the plane appeared shredded and torn. In some places it looks like it was sheared off. Chunks dropped in the water as it was maneuvered in the darkness. Story continues below ↓advertisement | your ad here Click here!
The jet was to be put down on a waiting barge.
Meanwhile, the pilot of a crippled US Airways jet liner told investigators that he made a split-second decision to put down in the Hudson River because trying to return to the airport after birds knocked out both engines could have led to a "catastrophic" crash in a populated neighborhood.
Capt. Chesley B. "Sully" Sullenberger said that in the few minutes he had to decide where to set down the powerless plane Thursday afternoon, he felt it was "too low, too slow" and near too many buildings to go anywhere else, according to the National Transportation Safety Board account of his testimony.
The pilot and his first officer provided their first account to NTSB investigators Saturday of what unfolded inside the cockpit of the Airbus A320.
(Excerpt) Read more at msnbc.msn.com ...
That accounts for it flooding so fast, hopefully future designers of aircraft can come up with a way to instantly apply some form of hydrodynamic braking device like an inflatable hull to prevent the undercarriage from peeling away on impact, literally a water impact airbag.
On Fox live right now.
You gotta be kidding me. The plane floated for over 30 minutes. The air space in the wings is what gives boyancy. Maybe we should start building airplanes out of wood, ala spuce goose, so they could better survive a one in a billion senario like this, not. How does one improve on zero fatalities?
The plane boss, floated because the wings were full of lighter than water aviation fuel.
Zero fatalities? A typical bloodthirsty, be damned to nature conservative response. Zero fatalities? What of the geese that that monster killed? How heartless!
Maybe they should bring back the old flying boat!
Or re-invent the flying boat, I bet there is some serious discussions right now about how the new composite aircraft would have fared if faced with the same scenario, I myself would rather fly in a tried and true aluminum built airframe providing it was not metal fatigued like the Aloha disaster where the roof peeled off.
Lets just visualized what would happen if an aluminum car body hit something solid compared to a composite, or more directly an Indy car disintegrating to shed the impact forces, it does not give me confidence to fly in a composite airframe and it has to make an emergency landing at high spped on water.
That pilot should get a medal and a wage increase, also his crew.
Interesting comments. Yeah, I wonder, too, about rhe composites. IAC, the passangers were lucky to be in a plane piloted by a man in the same class as Lindburg. Of course, Lindberg would remind us that there is no totally safe way to fly. When people were debating whether airliners should have lifeboats attached to them if they flew over the ocean, “Lindy” came down on the side of minimal safety precautions such as the ones taken by the makers of this plane. I have been flown over the Atlantic many times and never thought the plane could survive a fall from 30,000 ft. into the North Atlantic. Captain “Sully” would not be doing what he does if he wanted “safety.” But, heck, flying is still safer than hurtling down the Interstate at 70 MPH, thanks to the skill of men like “Sully.”
The A320 *is* a composite plane, which is why this is *extremely* significant and why I’m glad the plane is more or less intact for a post-mortem. It’s the first jetliner to successfully ditch in over 20 years and the first composite airliner *ever* to ditch.
Reading the article might help - the pilots did NOT have time to hit the ditching switch and it was never used.
Ping to 13 - A320s are composite planes.
Heh - no, they shouldn’t. Composites have great strength - but when hit by hostile fire, they start cracking and shattering, which can be a problem for combat equipment.
I’m with ya there!
“I bet there is some serious discussions right now about how the new composite aircraft would have fared if faced with the same scenario”
Ummm, if memory serves me correctly, the A320 is not exactly an all aluminum aircraft. It’s actually about 28% composite by weight. I thought I had a diagram that showed the composite structures, but I don’t. Of course, the stuff that hasn’t gone into production yet is way up in the composite amount. I believe the 787 is supposed to have around 80% composite (but that doesn’t seemed to have saved any weight, word has it that it is morbidly obese so go figure). I’m not sure how they measure that the 787 percentage of composite construction (weight, number of structures, dunno).
Even at 28% you have to admit that the A320 seems to have held together fairly well after whacking the Hudson. Better get used to composites, if you’re going to fly around in airliners.
No... The plane floated due to pilot expertise with the landing. Anything else and it would have broken up enough to let the water in...
Yes, and thank goodness the Airbus designers thought of water ditching and the preparation needed to remain afloat.
All in all, it was a great landing on water and a good design for water crashes that saved these passengers...
“Yes, and thank goodness the Airbus designers thought of water ditching and the preparation needed to remain afloat.”
Maybe more like “Thank God”. The Press (those liars!) are starting to blabber that the “ditch switch” didn’t get switched. It is an interesting feature, but it’s kind of ineffective if it didn’t get used. Guess we’ll see. Sounds like an interesting investigation.
LGA to CLT a little under 600 miles, plus reserve fuel. Range of an Airbus 320.. a bit over 2500. Would Sully have departed fuel fuel???
Sully now knows...THIS was his destiny. He should retire now with Peace in his Heart.
.....How does one improve on zero fatalities?.....
How about a gurantee of no lawsuits?
I confess. I’m guilty of not reading the article. It had been widely reported by the MSM and at the various aviation sites I frequent that the A-320 had this system and the assumption was that it must have been activated. I’m surprised to hear that it wasn’t, though given the flight crew’s workload, airspeed and altitude, I can understand their not hitting that switch.
First, all aircraft have a ditch switch. Second, the aircraft hit the water hard and stopped in a very short distance. The article said the underside of the aircraft was damaged, which can be seen in the photo. That damage probably let water in anyway.
Looking at a diagram of the length of the flight path., he probably could have made Teterboro, or gone back to LGA. However, the aircraft would have lost some distance due to the landing gear, and there was no sure way for him to know that he had enough altitude and speed. It would have been close. Considering everyone made it out alive, I'd say he made the right decision.
Similarly, after the incident in Denver hopefully designers can come up with a way to instantly deploy sleds for when A/C run off a runway in the snow. And armored protection around the center fuel tank perhaps would have prevented a few crashes...
Reality is that the design worked, and engineers can't design for every remote possibility.
except the pilots both have said they did not have time to engage the ditch switch so it was not on.
Given the fact that in a matter of seconds they had zero thrust, and the plane started dropping like a rock, I agree.
The pilot was more concerned with whether they would even be alive after they hit, rather than whether they could actually float.
Yep. Nothing like adding even more WEIGHT to an airplane to make it fly better.
On the video in the news, the passengers don't even look like they got wet.
Although it may be true they use diesel fuel, it is not true that air is heavier than diesel fuel.
Diesel fuel (a liquid) is easier to pump than air, because it does not compress. Diesel fuel is lighter than water, which is why it will 'raise' a sunken ship (slowly and carefully).
We could add the sleds, airbags, and pontoons to all commercial airliners.
Of course, they could no longer carry any passengers or luggage.
“Don’t think the lawsuits will have much success”
You have to have “legal damages” to file a lawsuit. Nobody was hurt, correct?
The article never mentioned the ditch switch, and neither of the pilots has made a public statement. I guess we’ll find out more from the press conference to be held this afternoon.
The original article did. I see that it has been revised since it was originally posted, though.
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