Thursday, January 15, 2009

OMG! Birds Take Down A Plane in the Hudson River... All 155 On Board Survive, Pilot Hailed As Hero

Have you seen the news and photos and video footage of the plane that went down in the Hudson River when a flock of birds disabled both engines? It is freezing cold here today, less than 20 degrees Fahrenheit...and these people were saved out of 40 degree water by ferry boats and rescue crews. Wow.

According to the local news reports, a US Airways pilot guided his jetliner into the frigid Hudson River after a flock of birds knocked out both its engines just after takeoff this afternoon (Thursday, January 15th), and all 155 people on board were pulled to safety as the plane slowly sank. "We had a miracle on 34th Street. I believe now we have had a miracle on the Hudson," New York Governor David Paterson said. One victim suffered two broken legs, a paramedic said, but there were no other reports of serious injuries. The Airbus 320 craft crashed shortly after take-off from LaGuardia Airport on its way to Charlotte, North Carolina.

The pilot, identified as Chesley B. "Sully" Sullenberger III of Danville, California, "was phenomenal," passenger Joe Hart said. "He landed it — I tell you what — the impact wasn't a whole lot more than a rear-end (collision). It threw you into the seat ahead of you. Both engines cut out and he actually floated it into the river". In a city still wounded from the September 11, 2001 aerial attack on the World Trade Center, authorities were quick to assure the public that terrorism wasn't involved.

Unless you count the birds. It's more than a little creepy to think a bird can bring down a plane. However, bird strikes -- the collision of an aircraft with an airborne bird -- tend to happen when aircraft are close to the ground, which means just before landing or after take-off, when jet engines are turning at top speeds. If the birds get too close to the engine's intake, it's like a vacuum — the birds just get sucked in. More than 200 people have been killed worldwide as a result of wildlife strikes with aircraft since 1988, according to Bird Strike Committee USA, and more than 5,000 bird strikes were reported by the U.S. Air Force in 2007. Today's incident involved a whole darn flock of geese.

Rex and I had just left our NYC office and were in the local Charles Schwab branch when we saw the news of a plane crash on the Hudson River on a large screen TV. Then we had to rush off to catch the PATH and NJ Transit train home, so I didn't get the full story of the amazing rescue until now.

After all the bad news in the world these days, it is heartwarming to hear a story like this one. I'd like to take it as a sign of something good, a reason to believe in a happy ending.


Anonymous said...

WOW! Thanks for posting this. I had seen the photo but hadn't had time to watch the news and I was wondering what had happened.

Annoymous said...

Yes. They sure got lady luck on their side.

Mariuca said...

WOW! It must have been a huge flock Roxy! Glad there were no major injuries. :)

Mariuca said...

Roxy, there's always a reason to believe in happy ending, I'm happy you got yours today. :):):)

Live, Love, Laugh, Write! said...

I was watching the news when all of this happened - it was incredible to see! I'm so glad everyone's safe :)

Susan Cook said...

It was a miracle! It is amazing how birds could do that.

P.S. Thank you for continuing to visit me, while I was without a computer. Good news my new computer arrived yesterday! Yea!

Paul Eilers said...

When I first saw the headline, my thought was, "Oh no!"

Then I started to imagine the carnage and death toll.

Later, my wife and I watched the news and heard the details. No deaths and only a few injured.

It was a miracle indeed.

clutter buster said...

How can we request "Sully" as the pilot on our next trip?

"Sully" certainly landed plane with grace under pressure. The entire crew stepped up. Can't wait to hear his own comments about the experience.

His experience as a glider pilot truly paid off. Glider Certification should be a requirement!

Mizé said...

Hi Roxy.
Yes I saw it on the news, trough the internet. I was online when it happened.
I think it was a luck. TG people didn´t get hurt.
Good weekend. xx

Mariuca said...

Morning Roxy, I am here on a Sunday! Are u guys having pancakes today? Save me some yeah? :)

Anonymous said...

By gods grace everyone was safe, thanks to pilot for his braveness and for saving the life of lot of people.