Friday, January 16, 2009

What we call "heroism"...

...he'd probably dismiss with a "Just doing my job."
Rick Kurner, another US Airways pilot, says he has flown with Capt. Sullenberger for 23 years. "He's always been an unbelievable professional," says Mr. Kurner, a first officer.

Mr. Kurner says when he heard it was Capt. Sullenberger who was flying the plane that landed safely in the Hudson, he wasn't at all surprised. "He held his cool. 'Where am I going to go? City? City? River.'"

Go Air Force! and Boiler up!

13 comments:

Ahab said...

A friend of mine sent me an email with a link to the story and the only comment:

"His shit goes 'clank' when he walks."

staghounds said...

Go, Captain Sullenberger (and flight crew, too!)!

Just two days ago I was talking with someone about air safety, and laughing at that "use your seat cushion as a flotation device", since there had never yet been a survived water landing of a commercial passenger jet.

As usual, I say it, and then events laugh at me.

reflectoscope said...

Looks to me like it was a pretty good save.

Jim

Billy Beck said...

That guy came out of USAF F-4's: the jet that taught the world that with enough power, you can make a brick fly. He made his living with energy-management. Yesterday, he had it in spades. That was a sensational touch on the airplane, and the only way to train up to that is to touch airplanes in the air for a long, long time. There is no drill or checklist for when that last drop of energy drains out of the bucket and the airplane makes contact.

Splendid, splendid work.

(Aside: my brother -- the one with umpteen million platinum miles on every airline, was funny about it. He swears that he would have stepped off a ferry, dripping-wet, and hailed the next taxi for LA Guardia, JFK, or Newark, whichever had the next flight out. Imagine walking directly to the head of the First Class line at US Air ticketing with a #1549 boarding pass, smiling sweetly at the nice lady and saying authoritatively, "Yes. I am sure that I will have your very next seat to Charlotte. And... I'll have coffee while I wait. Hurry up.")

Anonymous said...

And not to take an iota away from the flight crew - and the CABIN crew: it's the stews that get everyone organized.

Let's extend a polite hand to the Airbus guys for designing & building a good plane. That A. glides ok B. Is solid enough to not break and C. Floats "long enough".

perlhaqr said...

So, now do we get to go fishing for airplanes? :D Be about as edible as anything you might pull out of the Hudson...

Mark said...

And that is how you fly. Amazing, and a true testament to US Air's training program, US Airforce alumni and the marvels of utter professionalism.

To you, Captain Sullenburger! *toast*

Tam said...

"a true testament to US Air's training program"

I hope so, 'cause he wrote it. ;)

fast richard said...

When I was fixing airplanes, I said that our job was to prevent the pilots from having to earn their pay. Sometimes things happen,though,and then the pilots have to earn that pay. Yesterday Captain Sullenburger earned every penny he ever made as a pilot, as did the rest of the crew.

DirtCrashr said...

He flew Phantoms in Nam - that's it.

On a Wing and a Whim said...

He's also a commercial glider pilot - leading to the pilot jokes today. He was definitely already darned good at power management and deadstick landings - and now he's flown the largest glider in the world!

As an aside, the Boeing have - and I believe the airbus does too - a "ditch switch" - last thing to throw before you go in. It slams shut all valves, ports, and other holes in the airplane normally open for pressurizing and depressurizing the plane. (And what cabin altitiude you have is a very important part of whether your plane will buckle, break, or just bellyflop when the structure impacts the water.) That's why it floats so well after the fact.

There's a crew, pilots and people-herders in the back, that should never have to pick up a bar tab again in their lives.

fireplaceguy said...

It was curious that the plane could be maneuvered with both engines out, as that shuts down both generators and hydraulic pumps. A friend who also flies the Airbus cleared this up: Airbus planes have an emergency ram-air turbine (RAT) that deploys when both engines go out. It's a prop-driven aux. generator and hydraulic pump. Very minimal stuff - only the captain has working instruments, but it's enough for nav, comm and flight control. Cool!

Anonymous said...

Fireplace, the first one of those I saw was on a Navion that must have been built about 1948. A good thing to have, let's just not let EADS get the credit for inventing it. Were it not for their hubric "Flies Itself! Into the ground!" control system, it might not even be necessary.