Analyzing The US Airways 1549 Crash

Airways 1549 Crash

The United States airway flight 1549 scheduled to fly on January 15, 2009 from New York City LaGuardia Airport (LGA) to Charlotte Douglas (CLT) and Seattle at Tacoma international airport in Washington State reported a crash. The airbus powered with two CFM56 turbofan engines, flew a direct onward service (Tail strike, 2017). The incident occurred on 15 January 2009. The plane took off in the fourth LaGuardia’s runway at 3:24:56 pm, and reported of being airborne at 700 feet and climbing. It struck a flock having Canadian geese at 2818 attitude (859m) northwest of the airport. The view of the pilot filled with large birds, as passengers reported loud bangs of birds and flames from the engines. The engine flame filled with silence and fuel odor. Sullen Berger controlled the plane after the shutdown of the engine as other skies attempted to restart the engine. A further climb could not save the situation, but only a glide descent to 1650 feet (Tail strike, 2017).

The call sign Cactus 1539 radioed New York terminal radar approach control (TRACON). He reported hitting birds and turning towards LaGuardia. The attempt to land in New Jersey was impossible. The plane ditched and in the middle of North River the section of Hudson tidal estuary. The landing speed was 240 km/h. Upon landing pilot Sulenberger ordered the passenger to evacuate through the cockpit door, which he opened. The four over wing windows served as exits for passengers into an inflatable slide/raft that was deployed from front right passenger door. Water entered through a rear door, a hole that passes fuel and cargo doors. The nearby boats facilitated the rescue procedure, a Jason cradle owned by Governor Thomas H. Kean, and ferry crew rescued passengers on the wings. Medical help from agencies treated the passengers. Fortunately, no passenger died from the incident (Tail strike, 2017).

The success of aircraft 1549 came from the skills of experienced cabin crew. The pilot (Chesley B.’Sully’ Sullenberger’), in command was 57 years old, with great experience since 1980. He had already logged 19,663 hours since he started working as a pilot, and additional 4765 hours in A320 flight. He was an established expert in the aviation safety. His training included 15,643 flight hours in A320 airbus where he qualified as a pilot. His qualification led to boarding of 150 passengers and three attendants in the flight.

The pilot directed the passengers to exit through cockpit door. The flight attendants directed passengers to keep calm and pass through appropriate exits. It is very possible that they had closed airplane valves, openings, and intakes that would have led water inside the plane. Most probably, they pushed the ditching button to seal the valves and openings that would have allowed water in the plane. They increased buoyancy of the plane allowing it to float on water long enough for everybody to move out.

The landing can be regarded as textbook since the pilot, Sullenberger landed on Hudson similar to the way he would land on a runway. It seems he had gained enough experience to manipulate some tactics of landing since there was no engine power. In addition, the pilot managed to fly the plane on water as slow as possible, a technique that is not possessed by many pilots. The landing was noted since the pilot did not panic which avoided many deaths. The skile officers performed their job of checking any error and restarting the engine within shortest time. They did not wait any minute but were quick to establish a safer place for the aircraft to land. Were it not for their quick steps the plane would have landed on a populated area.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.