Skip to comments.FAA releases cockpit audio for Flight 1549's Hudson landing
Posted on 02/05/2009 9:05:40 AM PST by jwparkerjr
A one minute recording of some of the conversations between Capt. Sully and the controllers as he handled the loss of both engines. Also some conversation between the departure controller and the tower(s).
(Excerpt) Read more at cosmos.bcst.yahoo.com ...
I just took my first flight last year. The pilot looked like he was fresh out of high school but he flew that aircraft just fine. I was a little nervous cause he looked so young, though. But I figured they weren’t going to trust him with an expensive peice of machinery and all those people if he didn’t know what he was doing.
Any seasoned controller listening to that will cringe.
Mis-Id'ed, poor listening, no "how far can you make it?".
Probably won't be enough to get dinged for, but surely won't earn any kudos for it.
Well, he knows where USAir is coming from, he just breaks off all approaches to the west, clears the runways, calls out the trucks & waits.
Only if you will be over water for extended periods.
I think sir you grossly over react. Or you just wanted to post your resume for all to admire.
>> Well, I must not have been a good pilot then. Im human.
So, when the aileron jammed and you were 4+ hours from land you were thinking about your spouse and kids instead of doing what you were both paid for and ethically responsible for doing? When you were on final with an engine failure you were thinking about the nice old grandma and grandpa who chatted with you in the gate area - instead of concentrating on flying Vref+5 to 10 Knots?
I suspect you did just what we all did: “Aviate, Navigate, and Communicate.” In that order. There was plenty of time for all the rest after the passengers were safely off the airplane and you were in the crew van on the way to the hotel (Including a more than occasional “Thanks be to God”.)
>> I think sir you grossly over react. Or you just wanted to post your resume for all to admire.
Yes, as a matter of fact, I DID overreact - and said so both publicly and directly to the individual who made the post. Please see post #73.
Actually, what was listed is only a small part of my “resume”, and if you think it is worth admiring, I suspect you don’t understand what a successful pilot career looks like. Mine is a resume of one who was hired by a major airline far too late in life (age 34), and one who spent too much of time “picking sh*t with the chickens”. 1-1/2 years flying old airplanes in Africa is not admirable, it is not knowing when to quit.
>> Any seasoned controller listening to that will cringe.
Mis-Id’ed, poor listening, no “how far can you make it?”.
Probably won’t be enough to get dinged for, but surely won’t earn any kudos for it.
WRONG. The controller’s “1529/39/49” is meaningless; lots of stuff was thrown at him in a very short time, and they both knew who they were talking to. In an emergency, the controller’s job was to coordinate clearing the way to any runway the aircraft could reach, providing vectors, and having his “D” side (assistant) or supervisor call out the emergency equipment. Other than that, STFU was the best controller policy. Kudos to the controller. Besides that, the FAA will have 50 desk jockeys (who couldn’t make it on the boards) playing Monday morning quarterback soon enough.
I’ll take your word for it, I heard the “expert” on NPR the other day, so I am dubious about the source.
Nonsequitor: Has anyone noticed that NPR has stopped 24 hour HIV and gay news and has focused on America being in a depression that we will never recover from? I really need to spring for satellite radio for my commute.
>> Some are crediting his glider experience with his ability to realize his choices were the river or disaster. I would sooner think it was his years and years sitting in that left seat, landing thousands of times, with the power all but off and knowing by the seat his pants how far that aircraft could go. I would like to know from someone who has flown both gliders and heavy jets if theres any similarity between them.
Well, yes and no. First the jets: 1/ When the engines are at idle power they are still developing thrust. 2/ If the damaged engines RPM reduced toward zero, the engines would turn into giant drag-producing “barn doors” which would greatly decrease the glide distance. 3/ Since it takes so long for a turbine engine to accelerate from idle power, jets are never flown at idle power on approach - flaps are set to approach setting; this adds lots of drag, so you have to push up the throttles to compensate.
Soooo, the pilots would not have much of an idea how far the thing would glide after the bird strikes in the engines until they sat there and watched the descent rate vs. distance flown for a bit. What they do know, however, is what a 3 degree glideslope looks like visually (for every mile flown the airplane looses 319’ of altitude). That is the angle that nearly every instrument approach is flown at. They could look out to LGA and TEB, watch for a bit, and have a pretty good guess.
Here’s where the glider training helps out. Every glider pilot who has either flown cross-country, or has strayed a bit too far from the home field, is acutely aware of “where am I, how fast am I descending, how strong is the wind, how far can I go, will I have to land off-field?, etc.” Glider flying is not a “oh, cool, look at the pretty clouds” but constant hyper-vigilance, and is usually a low-level gut-gnawing experience.
I suspect those tapes were playing in the captain’s mind all the way down. You can hear it: “We’re going back to LGA.” “How far is TEB?” Then, the glider pilot watching the vertical descent rate, comparing it to the aircraft’s forward movement, and finally realizing a water landing in the Hudson was a better choice than landing a mile short of the TEB North-South runway.
Hope that’s a good answer...
it sounds like a couple of points had answers from the captain blanked on the longer 3 min version, particularly after the says ‘we’re gonna be in the hudson’ and the controller asks him to say again, there is immediately a blank, then the controller says alright.
I was enroute controller for 35 years, 13 in Chicago.
I've worked many emergencies, including loss of power. It is IMPERATIVE that you quickly ascertain how far the aircraft can travel, and work with pilot to get an action plan.
As I said, the controller will take some flak, but nothing serious.
return bump, thanks
I am not instrument rated and did not know offhand the glideslope for an instrument approach, the 319 feet per mile. You say that's for an instrument approach. Would they use the same attitude for a vfr approach?
Thanks for a very informative post.
He had to be watching his insturments and checking his landing options. He was running the numbers in his head all the while making sure his plane wasn't coming apart and he was working out where to set the damn thing down.
He didn't have time to panic...
Professionals with good training usually all remain calm in emergencies...
Kudos to Sully for preparing all his career for this moment of Truth!
>> Who voiced idiot at 0:57? Or was that something else?
It sounds like it was picked up on the CAM (cockpit area microphone) while 1549 was talking to LGA departure. If this is correct, it comes from the other pilot. Assuming that is the Capt.’s voice telling the controller he wanted to return to LGA, it would be the First Officer (copilot). Insulting the controller? No, not really - the controller would first offer the present runway in use (31) at LGA; when the Capt. said “unable”, the controller suggested runway 4. Insult to the controller? No, not really - I think at this point the pilots were looking at their present sink rate and saying “Hell, we’re loosing altitude so quickly we’ll be lucky to make it “straight in” to runway 13. All this is conjecture on my part, of course. Try here for a better quality audio:
Use the first selection (NY Tracon Audio). 1549 checks in at 6+10, the geese hit the fan at 7+55.
>> What he was looking for at touchdown was a good ol fashioned soft field landing, shallow decent, nose up, minimum airspeed?
Yes, you are correct. I’m in Miami now - my old 767 manuals are in Denver. I was hoping my wife (747 Capt.) would email me from her layover; I’d have asked her to quote the 747 manual for comparison. From memory (I retired in late 2004), the ‘67 manual said “ditch at minimum speed and sink”. At his weight, I’d guess he’d be around 120-130 Knots. (138-150 mph), and would flare and touch down at that speed.
A 3 degree instrument glideslope has you descending 319’ per mile, VFR approaches can come down a lot steeper than that. The 727 would come down like a rock. Yahoo! :o)