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Quote of the Week: "A great civilization is not conquered from without until it has destroyed itself from within." - Will Durant, American historian (1885-1981)

FLASH! US Airlines Flight 1549 Down In Hudson River

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FSTargetDrone
PostPosted: 2009-01-15 05:13pm 

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Breaking News:

Quote:
Image

U.S Airways Jet Crashes Into New York City's Hudson River
Flight 1549 May Have Been the Victim of a Bird Strike
By RUSSELL GOLDMAN

January 15, 2009 —

A US Airways jet en route from New York to Charlotte crashed into the Hudson River off the west side of Manhattan with more than 150 people on board.

New York City firefighters and passenger ferries responded to the crashed plane, which floated near the historic aircraft carrier, The Intrepid.

The flight, US Airways 1549, was an A-320 manufactured by Airbus was carrying as many as 146 passengers and five crew members, according to the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.

The plane's pilot allegedly reported a bird strike.

Witness Barbara Sambriski, a researcher at The Associated Press, said she thought, "Why is it so low?" And then, she said, "splash, it hit the water."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Copyright © 2009 ABC News Internet Ventures


Turn on your TVs...

CNN reporting the aircraft was floating on its own for about "five minutes" after hitting the water. It was in the air for 3 minutes.
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TempestSong
PostPosted: 2009-01-15 05:20pm 

Youngling


Joined: 2008-12-29 06:26pm
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Not something you see every day... Especially near my area.

Could've been much, much worse. Good job to the pilot.
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Adrian Laguna
PostPosted: 2009-01-15 05:21pm 

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And this is why they put life vests on passenger aircraft. Yeah, most water landings end up with the aircraft smearing itself across the waves like an egg landing on concrete, dooming most or all of the passengers and crew to a watery grave, and leaving sad-looking floating bits and pieces of assorted clothing, but once in a while the plane lands intact or mostly intact and those vests can be life savers.

Also, hats off to the pilot for his role in making this flight one of the lucky ones.
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FSTargetDrone
PostPosted: 2009-01-15 05:25pm 

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UPDATE:

Some details from an aviation blog (to be taken with the grain of the salt for the moment, of course):

Quote:
US Airways Flight 1549 in Hudson River
2:55 PM Thu, Jan 15, 2009
Eric Torbenson

News reports showing an Airbus A320 that flew out of New York's LaGuardia sinking in Hudson River. Good news, if there is such a thing: Airframe appears very intact and was floating on the water for a good amount of time. Lots of ferries and helicopters there - pictures of people on the wings.

TV reports say 146 pax and 5 crew. Flight was en route to Charlotte and pilot reported hitting a "flock of geese" sources are saying - if he suffered birdstrikes on both engines, very likely to have to ditch the plane.

We don't know a lot: how quickly rescue boats and helicopters arrived and whether or not people on board were able to get out. From the looks of the TV pictures, they got a lot of boats and helicopters there.

Here's more gathered from wire services:

Joyce Cordero, a 60 Minutes producer who saw the airplane go down in the river, said she saw flotation devices open up as she watched with binoculars.

"We saw a few dozen people on the actual aircraft wing," she said on WABC-TV in New York, monitored over the Internet. "They made it out. Within a few minutes, we saw some rescue boats head over and help folks. In the next 15 minutes, it became a movie-like scene."

- No indications of terrorism activity.

One interesting note: The Hudson is on the other side of Manhattan from where this plane took off. That might suggest that they had to struggle with this aircraft OVER Manhattan, which would have been a potentially disastrous outcome.

Maybe the greatest job of flying a damaged aircraft since Souix City Iowa crash, where the plane had no hydraulic control? The pictures suggest the entire airframe is intact, which would give a really good chance of people getting off that plane OK.

Gov't officials now telling MSNBC that both engines got hit with birdstrikes.


The river's current is unsurprisingly taking the aircraft away from the crash site. All the rescue craft are drifting with it.

Another MSNBC reporter just said that everyone appears to be safely off. The water is about 35-40 degrees Fahrenheit.

EDIT:

The Airbus 320 accommodates "12 first class and 138 economy class seats in the widest cabin available for single-aisle jetliners."
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Broomstick
PostPosted: 2009-01-15 05:59pm 

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EVERYBODY LIVES!

It is believed EVERYBODY was safely pulled out of the Hudson River. EVERYBODY! That is just extraordinary!.

Wow.

Not only did the plane ditch successfully, not only were there no serious (well, not so serious someone couldn't get off the airplne) injuries, but they got everyone to safety despite temps less than -6C in New York and some no doubt bitterly, bitterly cold water.

CNN interviewed a survivor. The talking head asked "How was the landing?" The passenger said "Scary as shit!" Great answer. A definite "brown alert" situation.

Hats off to the pilots - engine failure on take-off is the worse possible time to lose power, they're over a huge city with no open land, and that sort of landing was no accident in any sense of the word. They had to everything right and do it quickly and they did exactly that.
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Broomstick
PostPosted: 2009-01-15 06:12pm 

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Image
Image

Those are Hudson River ferry boats diverting to pick people up out of the water.
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Kanastrous
PostPosted: 2009-01-15 06:15pm 

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Our ADC's brother has been standing on his apartment balcony for the last couple hours, videotaping away.

Have to see if he got anything interesting.
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Broomstick
PostPosted: 2009-01-15 06:15pm 

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ImageImage
ImageImage

Those are people standing on the wings. There are reports of at least four people taken to hospitals with hypothermia, with possibly more on the way. Some folks did get wet while awaiting rescue.

It had just taken off and presumably it had full (or reasonably full) fuel. The Other Half was speculating that that load of jet fuel might have helped keep the airplane afloat as jet fuel is less dense than water. Don't know, just food for thought. The fact the airplane stayed intact also helped.
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Broomstick
PostPosted: 2009-01-15 06:27pm 

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Looks like they already have cables on it to anchor it (the currents were moving it around just after the ditch) and are towing it towards shore.

Image

Needless to say, the NTSB will be investigating this.

One flight attendant had a leg fracture bad enough to require surgery, but under the circumstances things could have been a lot worse.

The New York Times has some awesome pictures on their front page.

Last edited by Broomstick on 2009-01-15 06:29pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Kanastrous
PostPosted: 2009-01-15 06:29pm 

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Any realistic chance this aircraft can be refurbed and returned to service, or does immersion in cold salt water violate the warranty?
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Vain
PostPosted: 2009-01-15 06:39pm 

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Joined: 2004-10-01 12:26pm
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Location: Baltimore, Maryland
How clean is the Hudson? I'm just curious. About seven or eight years ago, some friends of mine capsized in the Harbor here in Baltimore and they all had to get tetanus shots due to the state of the water.
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Broomstick
PostPosted: 2009-01-15 06:56pm 

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Hudson? Clean? It isn't. It hasn't been clean for... oh... centuries. It flow through one of the largest cities in North America. Of course the river is filthy.

That said, it's not death-on-contact either. No doubt these folks will be getting tetanus shots, too.
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CmdrWilkens
PostPosted: 2009-01-15 07:04pm 

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Vain wrote:
How clean is the Hudson? I'm just curious. About seven or eight years ago, some friends of mine capsized in the Harbor here in Baltimore and they all had to get tetanus shots due to the state of the water.


Not as bad as Baltimore's Inner Harbor but not by much, I'm sure they will get a Tetanus shot (or at least be recommended for one) just as a precaution.
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CaptainChewbacca
PostPosted: 2009-01-15 07:05pm 

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Joined: 2003-05-06 02:36am
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Kanastrous wrote:
Any realistic chance this aircraft can be refurbed and returned to service, or does immersion in cold salt water violate the warranty?


It will be broken down, and some parts may reused, but that particular body likely won't fly again.
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FSTargetDrone
PostPosted: 2009-01-15 07:14pm 

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Broomstick wrote:
Looks like they already have cables on it to anchor it (the currents were moving it around just after the ditch) and are towing it towards shore.


MSNBC had an interesting camera angle... Within the past hour, the aircraft appeared to be jammed up against what was described as a pedestrian bridge and one wing must have been under the bridge with the fuselage somewhat parallel to the bridge itself with the opposite wing out of the water. They had it tied up with tugs and some other vessels.

I wonder if someone caught video of this, even with a camera phone?
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andrewgpaul
PostPosted: 2009-01-15 07:15pm 

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Broomstick wrote:
It had just taken off and presumably it had full (or reasonably full) fuel. The Other Half was speculating that that load of jet fuel might have helped keep the airplane afloat as jet fuel is less dense than water. Don't know, just food for thought. The fact the airplane stayed intact also helped.


But the fuel is presumably more dense than the air in empty tanks, yes? I'm not sure that full tanks would be more buoyant than empty ones.
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Kanastrous
PostPosted: 2009-01-15 07:18pm 

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Joined: 2007-09-14 11:46pm
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Seems like incoming water would displace air more rapidly than it would displace fuel (assuming a puncture in a tank).

I'm sure an engineer will correct me, here.
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FSTargetDrone
PostPosted: 2009-01-15 07:21pm 

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Since Broomstick mentioned it, here is a NYT link:

Quote:
Image
Passengers stood on the wings of a US Airways plane after it crash landed in the Hudson River on Thursday

January 16, 2009
Jet Ditches in Hudson; All Are Said Safe
By LIZ ROBBINS

A US Airways jetliner with 148 passengers and 5 crew members plunged into the icy Hudson River on Thursday afternoon five minutes after taking off from LaGuardia Airport, and a spokeswoman for the Federal Aviation Administration said everyone on board escaped safely.

Moments after the plane, a twin jet Airbus A320 bound for Charlotte, N.C., landed on the river near the mouth of the Lincoln Tunnel, at least a half-dozen small craft rushed to aircraft to rescue the freezing passengers and crew.

According to the Fire Department of New York, initial reports from the aviation agency said they thought that a flock of birds had hit the engine and caused the crash.

“It made this huge, gigantic splash, and I actually thought it was a boat crash at first,” said Fulmer Duckworth, 41, an employee at the Bank of America who watched the incident unfold from the 29th floor of his building at West 42nd Street and Sixth Avenue. “It didn’t occur to me that it was a plane in the water.”

Mr. Duckworth said he saw the plane spin counterclockwise in the water, and then begin drifting down the river with the current. The plane had taken off at 3:26 p.m., and the tide was on its way out, pulling the downed craft south down the frigid Hudson.

He said that a co-worker watched with binoculars as the people on board made their way onto both of the plane’s wings.

“The plane was totally intact,” Mr. Duckworth said. “Everybody thought it was a sea plane. I kept trying to tell them no.”

“Actually it looked like everybody was really calm, like on the subway platform when it’s really, really crowded, and everyone’s standing shoulder to shoulder,” he said. “Everyone was standing right up against each other on the wings.”

Witnesses said the plane, described by the manufacturer as a medium-range jetliner, floated for two or three minutes before it started to sink as it drfited (spelling!) downstream, it’s (sic--come on, NYT, "it's"???) nose poking up.

“It didn’t break up at all,” Mr. Duckworth said. “Everything you could see looked perfectly intact, like you could take it out of the water and fly it.

Another witness, Matt Mireles, who sent an e-mail message The New York Times, said that from the window of his Upper West Side apartment he saw white smoke trailing from the left engine shortly before it glided onto the icy gray water.

Laura J. Brown, a spokeswoman for the F.A.A., said the plane took off from Runway 4, made a left turn after takeoff, which is standard procedure, and moments later crashed into the Hudson.

Port Imperial Ferry, which operates between Manhattan and Weehawken, shut down service during the rescue operation.

The temperature outside was only 20 degrees, with a wind chill of 10 degrees; the Hudson River temperatures are in the mid-30s at this time of year.

The Airbus has sold nearly 3,600 airplanes in the A320 series since it was introduced in 1988. There have been 19 major accidents and 631 fatalities. There have also been 33 non-fatal accidents involving engine failures, nose gear problems and minor collisions.

Matthew L. Wald, Tina Kelly and Al Baker contributed reporting from New York, and Micheline Maynard from Detroit.


Whoops, sorry, just noticed that picture is a duplicate of one posted above, albeit a bit larger.

Last edited by FSTargetDrone on 2009-01-15 07:23pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Broomstick
PostPosted: 2009-01-15 07:22pm 

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Kanastrous wrote:
Seems like incoming water would displace air more rapidly than it would displace fuel (assuming a puncture in a tank).

I'm sure an engineer will correct me, here.

^ what he said.

There are some variables here regarding fuel tank construction, but in cracked-but-full tanks it will take a LOT longer for water to displace the fuel than it would to displace air in cracked-but-empty tanks.

Not knowing the construction details of this Airbus there's not much I can say, except to point out that airplanes are not usually made watertight, and except for the pressure hull the people sit in, the rest of it isn't airtight, either.
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FSTargetDrone
PostPosted: 2009-01-15 07:25pm 

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Wouldn't the stresses on the wings from water suddenly flowing into the engine ducts possibly crack fuel tanks?
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Broomstick
PostPosted: 2009-01-15 07:31pm 

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I don't know enough about the structures involved to be an authority, but given the quantity of fuel such planes routinely carry, the amount routinely delivered to the engines, and the strength of the wingspars... it seems unlikely.

More commonly, some sort of debris punctures a fuel tank but obviously bending and flexing could rupture the fuel areas. On some airplanes the interior of the wing IS the fuel tank - in so called "wet wing" designs there is no fuel tank as such, rather a portion of the wing interior is sealed to act as a fuel tank. Have no clue if that's how the big Airbuses are built or not, though.

Still, this one was set down very gently under the circumstances - it didn't break apart and there have been no reports of fuel on the water. I assume the fuel is still contained.
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Kanastrous
PostPosted: 2009-01-15 07:45pm 

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Shock can sometimes rupture a tank; that's what happened to Air France 4590 on takeoff from Charles de Gaulle. FOD -> tire puncture-> chunks of tire striking the wing and belly -> shock waves in the fuel tank -> fuel tank rupture.
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Knife
PostPosted: 2009-01-15 08:43pm 

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I'd be more worried about water filling the wing space no associated with fuel tanks. That said, glad most if not all made it out alive. Kudos to the pilot and air crew.
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Master of Ossus
PostPosted: 2009-01-15 08:56pm 

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Adrian Laguna wrote:
And this is why they put life vests on passenger aircraft. Yeah, most water landings end up with the aircraft smearing itself across the waves like an egg landing on concrete, dooming most or all of the passengers and crew to a watery grave, and leaving sad-looking floating bits and pieces of assorted clothing, but once in a while the plane lands intact or mostly intact and those vests can be life savers.

Also, hats off to the pilot for his role in making this flight one of the lucky ones.


DO they have life vests on passenger aircraft? I thought they just had seat-cushions designed to float.
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Kanastrous
PostPosted: 2009-01-15 08:58pm 

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Master of Ossus wrote:
DO they have life vests on passenger aircraft? I thought they just had seat-cushions designed to float.


Yes, most passenger aircraft - all large commercial jets - carry actual life vests in addition to your seat cushion, which is designed to act as a flotation device.

edit - all large passenger jets on which *I've* traveled. Can't go making generalizations, I guess.
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