2nd Anniversary of the Miracle on the Hudson

By | January 15, 2011
Photo of US Airways Flight 1549 after crashing...
Image via Wikipedia

Two years ago, US Airways Flight 1549, outbound from New York’s LaGuardia Airport to Charlotte’s Douglas Airport, suffered a bird strike, which disabled its engines. The flight, operated by an Airbus A320, was piloted by now legendary Captain Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger, and first officer Jeffrey B. Skiles.

The aircraft had been delivered to US Airways in June of 1999, and at the time of the crash had logged over 25,000 flight hours. About two minutes after takeoff, the aircraft collided with a flock of birds and lost all engine thrust. Due to a lack of altitude, Sullenberger could not make it back to LaGuardia or to Teterboro Airport in New Jersey, which was explored as an option, and finally announced his intention to bring the airplane down in the Hudson River.

The ditching of the aircraft in the river has been considered the most successful ditching in aviation history, as there was no loss of life, only several injuries. The plane, although mostly intact after impact, was salvaged in such a way as to permanently disable it. The Carolinas Aviation Museum plans to put the plane on display.

We had just joined Twitter around that time, having added a FlightWisdom twitter account, and it was the first story we blogged about after seeing it on Twitter, where the news broke with pictures very quickly. Here is our first report from that day.

It is amazing that no one died in the crash. It could have so easily gone from a Miracle to a Tragedy. It is a tribute to those involved that there was no loss of life, and reaffirms the necessity for well-qualified and well-trained commercial airline pilots.