Jan 16, 2009

Hudson Hawks (possibly Geese)

It's only January, but I think we already have a winner for Photo of the Year:

This was taken by Janis Krums, who was on a ferry at the time this US Airways Airbus A-320 crashed landed New York's Hudson River. The plane had come a-cropper after a birdstrike caused both engines to fail. Using quite incredibly stupendous skill, pilot Captain Chesley Sullenberger brought Flight 1549 down in the water perfectly, allowing all 150 passengers and crew to escape onto the slightly submerged wings, and get into life rafts. Krums snapped a shot on his mobile phone, and uploaded it to his Twitter account, making it one of the first shots about the story to get on the internet. Citizen journalism, hoorah!

A story like this makes me think about parallel and multiple universes.

In another potential universe, the world might be mourning the loss of those 150 lives right now. I think today - we're in the good universe.

On a slightly less philosophical note, how about Captain Chesley Sullenberger?

I can imagine that guy's had to put up with all sorts of nicknames throughout his life. But now, forget Superman. When I have a mid-air emergency, I want SULLENBERGER on my side. He's the real Man of Steel. Perhaps we should give his name a definition:

"Sullenberger. Noun. A feat of spectacular skill and precision, resulting in the survival of persons in an otherwise deadly situation."


  1. He did a nice job avoiding all the bridges and buildings between Manhattan and the Jersey side, putting the plane down intact, and had the good luck to be where there were a lot of ferries and boats around.

    That could have been a catastrophe. He done good.

  2. I think we should name him Australian of the year - I mean he has probably been here before and we like to claim tenuous links (russell crowe !!!)
    this one might be worth it.

  3. I'm thinking his new nickname should be Captain Awesome.

  4. If we're going to claim him a Australian, the nickname needs to be suitably understated. I'm thinking 'Pelican'.

  5. Or even 'Penguin'... sure it's a bird, but it's a lot more comfortable in the water than the air.

  6. Thank Goodness he didn't hit the Empire State Building
    Just imagine Dubbya saying "There you are, I told you so"

  7. An incredible piece of flying (gliding). Even more incredible when you consider he did it without engines and glided that plane to a "safe" landing.

  8. I dare say that there will be a few more passengers paying attention during the safety demonstration.

    I've often said about my job and those like pilots that when things turn pear shaped, that's when you really earn your coin and deserve more of it. And it's times like this where you hope that you get someone who knows what they are doing.

    Bravo, Captain!

  9. I second that erk.
    I have a mate who is a massively experienced helio pilot. Nice guy, some Neanderthal ideas on social justice, but that's beside the point.
    He told me once that he won't fly with a non European / American airline. Expecting some low temp racism I asked why? He said; most Euro / American pilots are ex-millitary, in the millitary they teach you to punch on through the sh!t, don't ever give up, keep fighting all the way down. Whereas many of the pilots with middle east or asian airlines are rich boys whose daddy's paid their way through flight school. When things turn to cr@p they just throw their hands in the air & say inshasa. He always cited the BA Jumbo pilot who fought a 747 with no engines through about 60000 feet before the engines re-lit. I guess this story will just ad to that theory.

    Also Hooah for citizen journalism.