Flight 1549 3-D Reconstruction into the Hudson

I hope this hasn’t been posted before, I quick search on Flight 1549 didn’t see anything;

Youtube link

Absolutely harrowing! :eek:

Thanks for posting that.

The robotic calm of all involved is amazing. I want that pilot flying every time I get into a plane.

Yes; thanks for posting the link.

I didn’t know the US Airways call sign was “Cactus”. That’s neat.

That was an amazing video. I’d seen another reconstruction, but not one done so well. I’m going to be watching that again! Aviation accident investigation and aviation safety are the field I want to work in - I so want to see that plane one day!

US Airways callsign was “USAir”. Which they used since they were created as “USAir” by a merger back in the 80s. Until they were bought by America West a few years ago.

America West, based in Phoenix, had used “Cactus” from its founding in the 80s.

The real oddity was in the merger. AW was the buyer & US was the buyee. Internally, most of US systems and culture & excess facilities & personnel were thrown away and AW’s was kept. As you’d expect.

All except for the brand name. The new company kept the US Airways name & logos, while AW’s name & logos & such was all thrown away. Weird.

Which is how a US Airways crew flying a US Airways airplane ended up using Cactus on the radio.

Ah, that makes more sense now! I seem to recall having seen “Cactus” related to America West some time ago, now that you mention it. It is, of course, a much cooler call sign - not as awesome as “Speedbird”, but way better than “USAir”.


“Negative, we’ll be in the Hudson…”

I’ve announced I would be in the basement with more emotion…

That was impressive.

Pilots are trained to remain calm.

I had someone comment to me once that the more bored I sounded on the radio the more trouble he knew I was having in the cockpit.

Same for Air Traffic Control. I’m a flight instructor and spend a lot of time talking to controllers. They deal with a lot of strange situations, enough that their calm can sometimes give the appearance of jadedness.

The first time I heard 1549’s radio calls I laughed at how offhandedly the NY Departure controller told LaGuardia to stop their departures. He made it sound like airliners lose both engines every day, perhaps twice on that shift.

I just watched the recreation again. It looked the aircraft started to gain altitude shortly before it went into the Hudson. At about 6:30 into the film. were they able to start the engines?

So what do they show you to do to not freak out? This would be a very useful skill. I’m working on overcoming fear/freaking out in certain situations right now (singing solo in public and sparing in martial arts, if you’re wondering) and I could use some tips.

PS. I miss your flying stories Broomstick.

No engine restart, that’s when they lowered the flaps. As a consequence, the nose of the airplane rose and the wing’s angle of attack increased, increasing lift. As a result, the plane gains altitude briefly. Although the instruments were not displayed, I’m assuming this was accompanied by a loss of airspeed, which is not a problem provided you maintain sufficient airspeed to keep flying.

At least, that’s what it looked like to me - it would be nice if one of our big iron pilots could confirm or refute that.

Lots and lots and lots of emergency drills. Lots of discussion on how past emergencies were handled (both successful and otherwise). Implanting the mindset that when the crap hits the fan you 1) perform you emergency routines and 2) keep looking for more solutions (at one point Sullenberg asks his co-pilot “Do you have any other ideas?”). Basically, in many cases you’re so busy dealing with the emergency you don’t have the time to express your fear.

And, of course, those who can’t keep their cool tend to be weeded out in the training and testing process.

I do, too! Unfortunately, I have not recovered the income I lost when I was laid off in 2007. I have been flying remote control ornithopters lately, but don’t have any funny stories about or the grumpy old farts I’m forced to associate with while doing so.

That could be from deploying flaps, as Broomstick said. But I’m guessing it was more from raising the nose to the airplane’s best glide speed.

The first thing you do in a no-engine situation (even before attempting to re-start them), is establish best-glide speed. It gives you the most distance. If the airplane is slower than that speed, you’d push the nose down. If it’s faster, as I believe 1549 was, you’d bring the nose up. That would produce lift and a temporary boost in altitude with sufficient energy. I see this effect all the time when I drill dead-stick landings with students.

I also seem to recall that Sully and Skiles made their best guess at the best-glide speed in this situation. The exact number would depend on the aircraft’s weight.