Monday, January 19

"Please take care opening the overhead compartments, as contents may have shifted during flight."

I was wondering whether anyone would ever come up with any video of the actual landing of US Airways flight 1549, and somebody did.

Obviously I don't have experience landing airplanes on water, or anything else for that matter, but I was still amazed at how easy the pilot made it look (from a grainy distance, at least). There's a common perception that water is a much nicer, softer surface to have to put a crippled plane down on than, you know, land, and under certain circumstances I'm sure that's true -- but the faster you're going, the harder your impact is even when you're hitting water, as anyone who's belly-flopped off a high dive will attest. Bullets fired at certain angles, for example, have been known to deflect off of water, and while the US Airways plane wasn't going nearly as fast as a bullet -- "only" around 125 miles per hour, according to this article -- go get in your car, get up to 125, and hydroplane the thing if you think anything's easy to control at that speed. Not only that, but anyone trying to land a plane on water has to bring it in almost completely flat and level, because if you don't, you run the risk of dipping a wingtip into the drink and ending up with something more along the lines of this. For that plane to be floating more or less placidly in the Hudson River with 150-something people standing on the wings, waiting patiently to be rescued, I don't know if it qualifies as an actual miracle, but it'll do until a real one comes along.

Somebody buy Chesley Sullenberger a drink, and in the meantime, if anyone's been looking for a cheap Airbus A320 they could take on as a "fixer-upper," I might have a few leads.

1 comment:

Reed said...

That's cool and all, but he's got like two more planes to go to catch up to John McCain.