Friday, January 16, 2009

Flight 1549

"Miracle on the Hudson," my ass!

US Airways flight 1549's crash landing on the Hudson River yesterday was no such thing. It was the result of 10's - no, probably 100's - of thousands of man-hours. The Air Bus 320 has a ditch switch that seals off the plane for just such an emergency. That was the result of engineers applying scientific research to the design of the plane. More to the point, the entire plane is designed to survive a water landing.

Add to the facts that the plane was in the hands of a pilot with 40+ years of experience. Captain Chesley Sullenberger not only has decades of flight experience but is also an experienced accident investigator and instructor. He stayed cool, calm, and collected and made a very difficult landing safely. After putting the plane down in the water he walked the aisle of the plane twice to make sure eveyone got off safely. Let's say that again, after the plane was in the water Cpt. Chesley Sullenberger walked the aisle TWICE to ensure his passengers were safe.

With the plane in the water and people safely deplaning rescuers responded immediately. If there was any major amount of luck here it was that the crash was in a heavily traveled water way. NPR this morning mentioned a police rescue diver who dropped from a police helicopter to pull one struggling passenger out of the water.

That 155 people survived the plane crash with no reports of serious injury was not a miracle. It is the result of science, engineering, experience, and fast responding rescuers. Calling it a miracle disrespects the people that did all the work.

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Blogger Miss Healthypants said...

It may not have been a miracle, but it was still freakin' cool! :)

2:29 PM  
Blogger Eric said...

It was nothing short of awesome! My point is simply that it was the result of long hours of human preparedness and then split second human heroism.

2:37 PM  

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