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Landing on the Hudson

Discussion in 'AviatorChat.com' started by cove26, Nov 24, 2009.

  1. cove26

    cove26 Formula 3

    Nov 13, 2007
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    Ok so I'm watching TV, happen to pass by Oprah and see she has the first responders from the plane incident that landed on the Hudson River in NY. Then she brings out "Sully" the pilot that landed the plane on the Hudson. What I do not understand with this whole thing is that while it was a job well done, I don't feel this pilot is a hero.

    The pilot was trained for unusual incidents like this and he acted on his training. I don't get why from the beginning this pilot is being portrayed as a hero. He did what he was trained to do. Anyone else feel like this or is it just me?
     
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  3. nerd

    nerd F1 Rookie

    Oct 12, 2003
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    Yeah, your right. Firemen who run into burning buildings to save lives are only doing what they have been trained to do...not heros. Superman and Spiderman....those guys are heros!

    In all seriousness, a water landing for loaded modern airliner is great theory which historically has resulted in tragedy. I'll leave it to the passengers of 1549 to decide if Sully was a hero and verdict is in.
     
  4. Spasso

    Spasso F1 World Champ

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    #3 Spasso, Nov 24, 2009
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2009
    Training and execution are two different things.

    The odds against Sullenburger (or anyone) making a successful water landing while fully loaded with passengers and fuel WITHOUT breaking the airplane into bits and drowning a bunch of people is extremely high.

    His cool head, making the right decisions, PILOTING the airplane to an optimum approach and DEAD STICK landing warrants special recognition.

    It all could have gone so wrong.

    It's not just a matter of "training".
     
  5. Bob Parks

    Bob Parks F1 Veteran
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    Agree with this statement. Skully could have held off a bit too much and done a slap down. He could have had too much speed and/or too high a rate of descent and broken the airplane. It appears that the angle of attack, his speed, and rate of descent were all compatible. Water landings can be deadly because of the incompressibility of water and its ability to infuse itself into any crack , opening, or intake hole and to literally explode the airplane. If I remember, only one engine was knocked off, number 2.
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  6. cove26

    cove26 Formula 3

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    Ok Ok so training and luck had alot to do with it. Still doesn't make you a hero
     
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  8. wax

    wax Four Time F1 World Champ
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    #6 wax, Nov 25, 2009
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    It's like being down 3-0 at bottom of ninth with bases loaded, count of 3 and 2 and popping one out of the park.

    Right circumstances, right actions, right place, right time = hero, by default.

    Nevertheless, it's been exploited to no end, to such an extent it has a certain "South Park" feel about it.
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  9. Nurburgringer

    Nurburgringer F1 World Champ

    Jan 3, 2009
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  10. Nurburgringer

    Nurburgringer F1 World Champ

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    Nope, both engines were dead.
     
  11. Nurburgringer

    Nurburgringer F1 World Champ

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    you forgot grace under pressure and a bunch of skill.

    What's your beef with Sully? You're acting like he bullied you in grade school.
     
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  13. Bob Parks

    Bob Parks F1 Veteran
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    I know that both engines were "dead". What I was referring to was that the water ripped engine number two from its mounts. To me that indicated a minimum speed when it hit the water. I have seen two ditchings, one good and one bad. The bad one was mishandled and the nose broke off. The other one was smooth and correctly done and the airplane remained intact. I have seen some guys turn into blabbering sacks in emergencies and then there are the Sully's who think immediately and revert to his skills and then apply those skills to perfection...all the time while under extreme pressure. That isn't business as usual. That is exceptional and above the call. Some say that is heroic performance. Look it up in Webster's.
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  14. lmunz22

    lmunz22 Formula 3

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    I'm also extremely impressed with the Departure ATC. He stayed calm and offered Sully alternatives til the very end. He also maintained composure and kept doing his job with other traffic.
     
  15. Nurburgringer

    Nurburgringer F1 World Champ

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    aha, sorry misunderstood.

    Accd to the simulation his AS was ~125 knots just before splashdown.

    Had to have been damn close to the stall speed, no?
     
  16. LetsJet

    LetsJet F1 Veteran
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    I guess it depends on your definition of hero.

    I commend Sully on his grace under stress, his pilot capabilities, and his grounded personality. I believe he has said that he doesn't consider himself a hero. I agree with him as my definition of hero is someone that does a selfless act for another when they don't need to and it isn't their profession. I tend to think we use the term a bit loosely these days.

    So, let's say a pilot dies midflight and a passenger jumps into the cockpit to attempt a landing. In doing so he realizes he can land on a short runway and he will hit a building head on and possibly crush himself in the cockpit but save all the passengers or he can land on a longer runway but will probably be broadsided by another aircraft taking off and possibly killing all the passengers on both planes but he will be saved as the cockpit is torn freely and safely away from harm. A hero in my eyes would take the short runway.

    But, that's just my perspective.
     
  17. Spasso

    Spasso F1 World Champ

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    Yes, very close.
     
  18. cove26

    cove26 Formula 3

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    I have no problem with Sully at all. I would love to have him flying any plane I was on. As I said, the media makes him out to be the greatest thing in the world and the biggest hero ever. He was trained to do this, I believe he said over 10,000 hours. He executed his training and carried out his job functions, which makes him a professional, not necessarily a hero.

    Just my opinion.
     
  19. Bob Parks

    Bob Parks F1 Veteran
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    You just don't get it, do you? An instructor can execute all kinds of training and a student can pass. A " professional" pilot can accumulate many hours and still not execute a perfect response to an emergency. Skully did that which he should have done. He exhibited a superior level of skill, a superior level of mental attachment to a DIRE EMERGENCY and calmly figured out what he had to do in a flash of time and executed his decision with flawless skill. Yes, he was trained. Yes he was a professional. And YES he used all the skills of his trade that were coupled with a SUPERIOR ability to put everything together to make a perfect landing on water at an optimum speed that assured the survival of his ENTIRE compliment of passengers. You try it.
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  20. donv

    donv Two Time F1 World Champ
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    I agree completely-- Sully did a great job, and did something which was much harder than it looks.

    The hero thing is interesting-- I once heard Dr. Beck Weathers speak about his experience on Mt. Everest, where he was left for dead. He commented that the only person he considered a "hero" in that experience was the Nepalese helicopter pilot who, in the course of two rescues, set an unofficial altitude record for a helicopter landing, and did it TWICE. Weathers' comment was that this guy took a big risk, one that he wasn't required to take, to benefit someone else. He wasn't a thrill seeker, like the other guys on the mountain, but just a guy doing his job, but going way above and beyond any expectations.

    Sully isn't as much in the hero category in my view because he would have done the same exact thing if he'd been alone in the airplane-- after all, he was the first one to reach the scene of the accident. He wasn't taking on any additional risk himself to benefit others.

    However, I don't want to downplay his accomplishment, which was remarkable.

     
  21. BDCVG

    BDCVG Formula Junior

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    That is a combo of training and personality trait. You have to keep going, the other planes don't stop moving and even if You hit the landline to the tower and stop departures at least 2 more will always get airborne.
     
  22. CRUSING

    CRUSING Karting

    Oct 31, 2002
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    You guys keep assuming he was "trained" to do what he did. He most certainly was not. He is trained to fly the airplane off the ground after losing an engine at rotation. He is trained to deal with a double engine failure at cruise altitute. As a captain on the A320 you are not trained to "ditch" the airplane after losing both engines on departure or ever for that matter in the simulator. He watched a slide show in recurrent training that discusses how to ditch an airplane in the open ocean. You are trained to deal with emergencies in general. I am quite sure it was his first and only experience seeing or dealing with that scenario.

    I could care less if he is called a hero, but what was accomplished that day was remarkable. My only beef is that the FO and the FAs are not given as much credit by the media. The most amazing part in my mind was not the landing, but getting a fully loaded airplane to evacuate in a river and not lose anyone.
     

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