Thursday, January 15, 2009

U.S. Airways 1549 Lands on Water


Shock, relief, gratitude. Most of all, the soaked and freezing passengers of Flight 1549 just seemed amazed to be alive.

All of them.

"You've got to give it to the pilot," said Jeff Kolodjay of Norwalk, Conn., who was aboard the US Airways jet that ditched in the frigid Hudson River after an apparent collision with a flock of birds. "He made a hell of a landing."

"He was phenomenal," echoed Joe Hart, of Long Island, a salesman with investment firm ING.

"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," he added.

I've flown a lot in my life, and I've always discounted any talk about flotation devices. I thought that I knew enough about the physics of an airplane hitting water at high speeds to know that it wasn't going to work. Maybe from now on I'll pay attention to my flotation devices, just in case I have an incredible pilot like this one.

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