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Old 01-18-2009, 08:21 AM   #15
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Hey Guys, just a little more information on the "Hudson Landing". Water can't breech the fuel tanks quickly because the only access to the tank are fueling valves (which are closed after fueling) and vents at the wingtip because when fueling if you can't get air out you can't get fuel in and I'm not sure if the vent has a check valve to prevent water from entering. I seriously doubt if he had full tanks because he was only flying from NYC to the Carolina's so he wouldn't "fill up" and carry the extra weight so there was air in the tanks which helped with floatation. You don't want to land "flat" because you would want the "tail dragging" to bleed off some of the speed prior to the engines making contact with the water (huge amount of instant drag when the engines hit) he probably held the nose as high as possible after making contact with the water until his speed bled off and the airplane just "flopped" in the water and also a high speed flat landing would tend to "tuck" the nose under water. The A320 has a Ditching Switch which closes the Flow Control Valve, Equipment Cooling Fan exhaust, and Outflow Valve (which controls pressurization) so with all of these openings closed it will slow the water leaking into the fuselage, won't prevent it but will help slow it. On all of the other planes I'm familiar with a pre-ditching checklist would ensure the crew closes these openings, from what I have read the ditching switch wasn't closed prior to hitting the water but heck he had a lot to do in less than 3 minutes. I have forgotten to lower my antenna prior to leaving a campground and I had all morning and 7 cups of coffee to remember something that simple!

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Old 01-18-2009, 08:23 AM   #16
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Given the amount of time and the altitude the aircraft attained I find the entire event unbelievable.

How far will one of these aircraft "glide"

I understand the pilot (and Crew)were to be debriefed by the NTSB before speaking with the Press who can and will twist what ever to make them look like experts.

Love the people who call the News Stations and talk for their moment of fame and know nothing.
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Old 01-18-2009, 09:06 AM   #17
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Quote:
.. How far will one of these aircraft "glide"...
i'm not an airplane person, but i think i heard it was 12:1 or 20:1, something like that,
for every foot that the plane goes down it can glide 12 (20?) forward, if done correctly

Quote:
.. Love the people who call the News Stations and talk for their moment of fame and know nothing. ....
that is almost driving me to tears of frustration these days as well
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Old 01-18-2009, 04:27 PM   #18
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Think about how well a brick glides. Yes, you can get good glide ratios with planes that are made to do that, but airliners are designed to fly with lots of power. OK, here I go starting something. I am not a pilot, so some of you pilot types jump in. Tis not memtioned much, but I have heard from authorative sources that the first thing a pilot will do is dump fuel to lighten weight. Someone else jump in here on this.
Like I said, I am not a full-size pilot (I fly mine from the ground), but even I know this guy was GOOD!!!
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Old 01-19-2009, 05:36 AM   #19
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The NTSB is always reluctant to issue statements early in an investigation reguarding a decision, or comments on the actions of crew members, in an accident investigation that can take a year or more. All facts and evidence must be evaluated. For instance, were both engines catastrophically damaged that neither could be restarted? Was an air start attempted? was an air start procedure done correctly?, and so on. Law suits usually hang on every word the NTSB says. All aircraft have a glide speed. I presume the Airbus 320 has about 150-160 kts (roughly 180mph) as it's "best glide" The pilot must obtain "best glide speed" and maintain it-- that speed will offer full flight control effectiveness until touch down. I assume the flaps are lowered immediately before impact to slow touch down speed. The engines that are hanging below the wings are of concern as the drag will be enormous at water impact

The Airbus has a "fly by wire" system. That means all flight controls are electric. When your main electric system fails (dual engine failure) you now only have battery power, or possibly APU (auxillary Power Unit- kinda like our Onan generators) if it's still running-- Its usually shut down shortly after take off, to power the flight controls. It doesn't appear flight control was an issue in this accident. When "Sully" made the decision to ditch the aircraft his full attention, and the co-pilot's also, went to the task at hand. At three thousand feet your don't have a lot of time to evaluate every possibility that an accident investigation board can look at with a cup of coffee in one hand, and in a nice room waiting for sandwiches to be delivered for lunch-- second guessing your actions, or inactions.

If my memory serves me correctly the Boeing 767 "glider" incident our Canadian member alludes too, many years ago, involved a ground crew member, "sticking" the tanks for a trip fuel count and giving a reading in Liters instead of Gallons. The plane took off and lost both engines enroute to his destination because of fuel starvation. That pilot was also flying a glider at that time-- fortunately he had trained as a RCAF pilot and when he broke out of the solid undercast, he was familiar with the terrain and the airfield ahead of him. He "dead Sticked" the aircraft onto his old training base runway without a hitch. Great piloting and lots of good luck. Sully also had lots of luck that day above, and in, the Hudson river.

I always trained my students and Instructor pilots, and I trained many, in the Air Force and later in civilian life to:
1- You owe that aircraft no loyality once it's engines and/or flight control don't work properly for you anymore. In the Air Force we had ejection seats. In civilian life, look for a suitable landing site.

2- Make a decision and stick to it. Let the accident investigation board folks sit across the table from you and ask all the questions they want with their coffee in front of them. At least your there and your family has you coming home in the evening.

I commanded an Air Training Command, T-38, pilot Training Squadron during Viet Nam days. I had the best accident free record (zero)for a squadron in the US Air Force during my tenure. These young officers could evaluate serious problems and make a good decision in a panic situtation. In my day, we were training many Iranian pilots, They were our allies because the Shaw was in power and he was the stabilizing influence in that region of the world. When you think of the enormous responsibility my instructor pilots had training Iranian students, turning them loose--Solo-- in a supersonic aircraft when they had no more prior mechanical experience than riding a bicycle-- It's mine boggling. We had our hands full in those days. I often told my complaining Instructor Pilots "How would you like to take a technical, very mechanical course, speaking and reading in Persian"!! They calmed down after I threw that bit of Max's philosophy at them.

Sully was in my time frame as a student in the Air Force after he graduated from the Air Force Academy. I don't know if he was at my base yet-- there were seven UPT (Undergraduate Pilot Training) bases up and running at that time. He apparently learned good solid emergency judgement making somewhere. The only thing wrong that I can see is that he doesn't have a seaplane rating -- That's supposed to be a joke folks! I guess I can make one since no one was seriously hurt or injured.

As an aside, I ran a two year study in South Alabama in 1973- 1975, with our students and instructors, to comment on a special form when they signed in after a flight, on near misses with large bird, and in most cases if the birds saw you coming, they dove. Hence, our procedure for am impending impact, was to do an abrupt pull up. Granted that's easier to do in a fighter type aircraft than a commercial airliner.

My qualification's to comment on this accident, with some expertise, are as follows:

1- I am a rated Airline Transport Pilot, both multi and single engine, land.

2- A Certified Flight Instructor, Multi and single engine, land.

3- 13,000 hrs total flight time

Atta boy Sully-- "A job well done" All your military brethern are proud of you!!!
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Old 01-19-2009, 07:04 AM   #20
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TW in Canada,

I'm not sure that the Air Canada incident was a B-767. It might have been a B-757-- I can't remember that far back and I'm not sure if it would be in the NTSB files because it happened in Canada and no damage resulted. The aircfaft also carried a Canadian registration. It could only be classified as an "incident" in the US jargon with the NTSB.

The only thing I have to worry about nowadays in retirement is putting my TST tire sensors, for pressure and temperature readings, on my rig for traveling the highways and by-ways in our wonderful North America.

I tried to add this to my long dissertation above, but alas-- my time had expired. The only one I know that can beat the system is "Oemy" and he admits to being a special case------

Cheers,
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Old 01-19-2009, 07:32 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally posted by Max Hubrich:
TW in Canada,

I'm not sure that the Air Canada incident was a B-767. It might have been a B-757-- I can't remember that far back and I'm not sure if it would be in the NTSB files because it happened in Canada and no damage resulted. The aircfaft also carried a Canadian registration. It could only be classified as an "incident" in the US jargon with the NTSB.
It was a 767, aka the "Gimli (?) Glider". The pilot was an experienced glider pilot, and actually worked some thermals on the way to a decomissioned air force base (Gimli).

joe
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Old 01-19-2009, 07:33 AM   #22
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[QUOTE]Originally posted by Max Hubrich:
Sully also had lots of luck that day above, and in, the Hudson river.



I think this may be as much the reason for the successful ditching of the aircraft, as the skill of the pilot. Very lucky indeed!!


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Old 01-19-2009, 10:43 AM   #23
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"Given the amount of time and the altitude the aircraft attained I find the entire event unbelievable."

Are you saying this is phoney? How do you explain the video and other visual/audible proof?

AND "I understand the pilot (and Crew)were to be debriefed by the NTSB before speaking with the Press who can and will twist what ever to make them look like experts."

Make who look like experts? Are you saying the crew ISN'T?

I'm confused at your post.

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Old 01-19-2009, 11:03 AM   #24
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Just to answer Noelj's question, not all commericial aircraft can dump fuel. I was an A&P mechanic/inspector for a major carrier for 35 years prior to my retirement and I still have the books on the A320 (and a couple of other types) and the A320 can't dump fuel. I would refer to Max H as to whether they would do it at 3000 ft over a populated area even if they had time. Fuel dumping is usually done to reduce the aircraft weight below the maximum landing weight.
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Old 01-19-2009, 11:06 AM   #25
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As noted earlier, the commerical jet has the glide ratio of a brick with stubby wings. The pilot was lucky that he was in the right position to get the jet lined up for a water landing on the Hudson. Beyond the initial luck, there is a tremendous amount of credit due to the pilot for making the right decision in a timely manner and then applying his skills to get the plane down as safely as possible.

If he had been another mile or two out in to the patern, the result could have been totally different.

In any case there was a lot of pilot skill, pilot judgement and just plain old everyday luck. He also had to have the back up of a very competent copilot to plull this off.

Ken
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Old 01-19-2009, 11:10 AM   #26
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If anyone is interested in following the reports you can go to http://www.ntsb.gov/aviation/aviation.htm and view any reports on this accident and any incidents/accidents. It will probably take at least a year before the final report but preliminary reports are usually filed and posted within 30 days or so.
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Old 01-19-2009, 11:38 AM   #27
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At 3000 ft., and no power, the pilot's options were extremely limited with only a few seconds to make a decision and only one chance to implement that decision.

I recall a saying from my USAF days, that under conditions like that "the ground comes up real fast".

The pilot and copilot performed excellently.
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Old 01-19-2009, 12:31 PM   #28
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The following is the first posting about the US Air accident on the NTSB website:

NTSB Identification: DCA09MA026
Scheduled 14 CFR Part 121: Air Carrier operation of US AIRWAYS INC
Accident occurred Thursday, January 15, 2009 in New York, NY
Aircraft: AIRBUS A320, registration: N106US
Injuries: 1 Serious, 155 Uninjured.

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed.

On January 15, 2009, at approximately 1530 eastern standard time, USAirways flight 1549, an Airbus Industrie A320-214, N106US, equipped with CFM engines, incurred multiple bird strikes during initial climb, lost thrust to its engines, and ditched in the Hudson River. The flight was a Title 14 CFR Part 121 scheduled domestic passenger flight from New York's La Guardia Airport (LGA) to Charlotte Douglas International Airport (CLT) in Charlotte, North Carolina. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and an instrument flight rules flight plan was filed. To date, of the 5 crewmembers, and 150 passengers on board, one serious injury has been reported. A final injury count is still to be determined.
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