Well now that the media blitz has calmed I’ll have a few moments to comment about US Airways flight 1549. My first thoughts as I expressed on ABS news were that the odds are against two engines being taken out by a bird strike. Living in south Florida we see that most of the migratory water fowl are here along with the rest of the snow birds. If all things are as they appear the crew of flight 1549: ; Capt. Chesley B. “Sully” Sullenberger, FO Jeff Skiles and cabin crew did an outstanding job. The US Airways pilot maintained their professionalism in spite of having their wages ravaged and pension stripped in bankruptcy court due to lack of protection of the workers by the government.
It was game day for Capt Sully; we train our entire careers for these emergency procedures and hope we never have one. On board the computer screens must have lit up like a Christmas tree, horns, bells and whistles were all very distracting as Capt. Sully command the configuration of the aircraft and piloted the aircraft dead stick into the water. He did a highly professional job that made all airline pilots proud of him that day.
As well as being an airline pilot I’m also a Sea plane pilot and can tell you that the Hudson in daylight is ideal for a water landing. Open water or darkness could have changed the result drastically. Due to a combination of luck and skill everyone on board flight 1549 are here today to talk about it. When I say luck its not to take away from the wonderful job they did. It’s just you can perform a textbook “Ditching” in the North Atlantic and nobody would survive due to hypothermia. In the North Atlantic the water is very cold and it would take many hours for rescuers to arrive.
An Airline Pilot’s status has been degraded in the last 20years by eroding wages, general lack of respect and the taking for granted the fact that we do such a good job that people think it’s easy to navigate an airliner from point ”A” to “B” safely. We have become the brunt of Jay Leno’s jokes because of bad press due alcohol abuse by a very few (much less than any other profession). Mr. Leno could not help but comment the night of the accident that it’s amazing what a pilot can do when he is sober. Which I thought was in very poor taste. Mr. Leno you owe Capt Sully and the rest of the professional airline pilots an apology for that. Its only during life threatening times that the public seems to appreciate the job professional airline pilots do every day.
Thanks Capt. Chesley B. “Sully” Sullenberger, FO Jeff Skiles and cabin crew for doing a job that all airline crews can be proud of.
Capt. Ivan Klugman www.inavsol.com , www.headofstateaircraft.com