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Sully Sullenberger 
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Post Re: Sully Sullenberger
The Captain kept his cool and flew it in, The aircrew set a great example for the passengers, who exited calmly. And the water taxis, police patrol boats, fire department and Coasties all acted in ways that reflect credit on themselves and their organizations and their city.

It all started with the Captain.


Mon Jan 19, 2009 3:51 pm
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Post Re: Sully Sullenberger
TiVo alert: Sullenberger is going to be on Larry King Live Tuesday evening (10th).


Sat Feb 07, 2009 9:34 pm
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Post Re: Sully Sullenberger
It occurred to me that this incident is a textbook example of "luck is a matter of careful preparation." So many carefully-planned and carefully-engineered things went into the decisions and possibilities of those thirty seconds.

Luck? Yes. But because thirty years of experience and fifty years of aviation engineering made it possible.

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Sun Feb 08, 2009 9:42 am
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Post Re: Sully Sullenberger
Katie Couric: "Did you, at any point, pray?"
Sullenberger: "I would imagine somebody in back was taking care of that for me while I was flying the airplane."

I stand in awe of the best answer I've ever heard to that stupid, trite question. The man just impresses the hell out of me at every turn.


Sun Feb 08, 2009 7:19 pm
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Post Re: Sully Sullenberger
Likewise he had the best answer ever to the question, "People are calling you a hero; do you agree with them?" - "I didn't feel that way but I'm coming to realize they may have a point; I don't want to invalidate their judgement."

Class act. Heinlein would have written him a letter.


Sun Feb 08, 2009 8:23 pm
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Post Re: Sully Sullenberger
dh490311 wrote:
Here's some airline salary info from pea.com:
...
And half as many hours as Joe the Plumber? Wrong again.
...
My dad flew for American Airlines, and it was no picnic.


Very interesting information on this aspect at the top of http://nymag.com/news/features/53788/index2.html.


Tue Feb 17, 2009 9:02 pm
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Post Re: Sully Sullenberger
Perhaps belongs in its own thread, but -

Compare and contrast the outcome of Sullenberger's flight with the horrible Buffalo crash. Sullenberger, with over 30,000 hours in the air, many thousands in the equipment he jetskied to a landing.

In Buffalo you have an older male pilot - 47, 3,300 hours total, only 110 hours in the Dash-8... and a younger female copilot, 24, 2,200 hours total, with 775 hours in the Dash-8. Rookies by the Sullenberger scale, about what you'd expect to find on short-hop commuter duty. But that disparity in hours bothers me. Will this turn out to be a case of hairy male bravado, with the XY-chromosome but barely qualified pilot assuming control when the XX with nearly ten times the hours might have done a better job?

To be fair, it looks like utter, unmitigated hell broke loose on that flight. To go from level flight to flaming wreckage in 30 seconds is not a situation that has much room for judgment and correction - even Sullenberger had luxurious minutes to make his choices and take his actions. But one has to wonder who had their hands on the stick over Buffalo, and whether the other pair might have made the slightest bit of difference.

Back on the other hand, an experienced commentator said that in the apparent situation, it could have been Chuck Yeager and Neil Armstrong in the front seats, with the same outcome.

Huh.

My completely horseback guess: there was a fault with the control surfaces that manifested when they lowered flaps. One stuck, or broke, and that was that.


Tue Feb 17, 2009 9:16 pm
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Post Re: Sully Sullenberger
James Gifford wrote:
Perhaps belongs in its own thread, but -

Compare and contrast the outcome of Sullenberger's flight with the horrible Buffalo crash. Sullenberger, with over 30,000 hours in the air, many thousands in the equipment he jetskied to a landing.

In Buffalo you have an older male pilot - 47, 3,300 hours total, only 110 hours in the Dash-8... and a younger female copilot, 24, 2,200 hours total, with 775 hours in the Dash-8. Rookies by the Sullenberger scale, about what you'd expect to find on short-hop commuter duty. But that disparity in hours bothers me. Will this turn out to be a case of hairy male bravado, with the XY-chromosome but barely qualified pilot assuming control when the XX with nearly ten times the hours might have done a better job?

To be fair, it looks like utter, unmitigated hell broke loose on that flight. To go from level flight to flaming wreckage in 30 seconds is not a situation that has much room for judgment and correction - even Sullenberger had luxurious minutes to make his choices and take his actions. But one has to wonder who had their hands on the stick over Buffalo, and whether the other pair might have made the slightest bit of difference.

Back on the other hand, an experienced commentator said that in the apparent situation, it could have been Chuck Yeager and Neil Armstrong in the front seats, with the same outcome.

Huh.

My completely horseback guess: there was a fault with the control surfaces that manifested when they lowered flaps. One stuck, or broke, and that was that.


Based on reports I've read, I believe the investigation will conclude that pilot error caused the crash. With the heavy icing conditions, the pilots should have turned off the autopilot before they did. The icing caused the plane to stall at a higher speed than the autopilot controls were set for - and when the stall happened the plane was too low for the pilots to pull out of it. The cockpit audio recording might shed some light on who was more at fault - the less experienced male pilot or the more experienced female co-pilot who should have warned the pilot to fly the plane manually.

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Tue Feb 17, 2009 9:48 pm
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Post Re: Sully Sullenberger
This just hit the newswaves: Capt. Sully was the *second* pilot to land an airliner in the water and save all his passengers. The first time was mid-Pacific, in 1956. Check out this awesome Coast Guard info reel:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fkR4F3_fEUQ

Apparently, one of the data that Captain Ogg had at his disposal was that a Boeing 377 had ditched a few years earlier, and the tail snapped off. Knowing that, he moved all the aft passengers forward. It was a clean landing until a wing clipped a wave, spinning the craft, shearing off the nose and - yup - breaking off the tail. If there had been passengers in the rear, they'd likely have died. Fatalities: zero.

"Luck is a matter of careful preparation."


Tue Feb 17, 2009 9:56 pm
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Post Re: Sully Sullenberger
There's a nice short interview with Sullenberger in the new Smithsonian Air & Space - probably all they could get down before press time. Some interesting technical questions and answers about following checklists ("Page 1, item 1... uh, never mind" sums it up).

The nifty thing is at the end, though, where he mentions his first flight instructor, who flew him for $9 an hour from a grass strip. The man died some years ago, but Sullenberger got a postcard from his widow - "L.T. would not have been surprised."

A little later my wife was talking about bird studies related to airplane strikes (conclusion: being sucked into a GE J79 is detrimental to avian health) and the following announcement popped into my head:

<fx staticky overhead speaker tone> "Captain Sullenberger, your goose is cooked."

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In the end, I found Heinlein is finite. Thus, finite analysis is needed.


Fri Mar 20, 2009 5:24 pm
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