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Perth Girl Survives NY Plane Crash....Pilot a Hero


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Author Topic: Perth Girl Survives NY Plane Crash....Pilot a Hero  (Read 35 times)
caskur™
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« on: January 16, 2009, 01:46:24 pm »
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http://news.ninemsn.com.au/article.aspx?id=719486

Aussie plane crash survivor reveals shock



An Australian woman who was one of the survivors of today's plane crash into New York's Hudson River has described the moments after impact.

Emma Cowan of Perth is in the US for a holiday and was leaving New York when her plane's engines were struck by birds, causing the emergency descent.

"When we hit the water, they opened the doors and we all crowded into the aisle," she told Nine News.

"What impressed me was that everybody was incredibly helpful.
"I'm very thankful to be here."

It has been described as the "miracle on the Hudson".

The pilot of the US Airways plane carrying 155 people performed a "masterful" crash-landing into New York's Hudson River after a flock of birds apparently struck and disabled both engines.

And as the partially-submerged craft sat roped to a dock at Battery Park at the foot of Manhattan after being towed down the river from the scene of the impact, city officials and citizens heaped praise on Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger's efforts.


The plane was only in the air for three minutes, after departing LaGuardia Airport in New York, when the pilot radioed in saying he had a double bird strike, aviation authorities said.

Unable to turn the plane around and return to LaGuardia, Captain Sullenberger glided the plane into the icy Hudson River.

"We've had a miracle on 34th Street, I believe now we've had a miracle on the Hudson," New York governor David Paterson said.

Pilot's 'masterful' landing    

New York mayor Michael R. Bloomberg praised Captain Sullenberger's heroism.
"It would appear the pilot did a masterful job of landing in the river and making sure everybody got out," Mr Bloomberg said at a news conference.

"I had a long conversation with the pilot, he walked the plane twice and made sure that everybody was out."

Passenger Jeff Kolodjay said the pilot told everyone in the plane to brace for impact minutes before the Airbus crash landed.

"And he told us to brace pretty hard, so that’s what we did," Mr Kolodjay said. "[He] dumped [the plane] and the plane started filling with water pretty fast …everyone was just super cool.

"Hats off to the pilot."

Captain Sullenberger's website lists him as a "captain for a major US airline with over 40 years of flying experience" as well as being a former US Air Force fighter pilot.
Passenger Alberto Panero said: "Thanks to the pilot, I can't believe that somehow he managed to land that plane safely. Everybody here is pretty much okay."


Escape in freezing waters

The Airbus A320 quickly filled up with water once it hit the river.

Passengers escaped over the wings of the plane and on to watercraft that surrounded the partially submerged plane.

Aviation authorities have confirmed that everyone got out of the sinking plane safely.
"Somehow the plane stayed afloat and we were all able to get onto the rafts," Mr Panero said.

"We just jumped off the plane onto the rafts."

Fire and emergency crews assisted survivors, with one passenger saying there had been elderly people as well as children on board the aircraft.

On a freezing winter's day, water temperatures were estimated at -6C outside and 4C in the water, making it a race against time to get everyone off the plane before they were struck with hypothermia.

Police helicopters hovered overhead, while four large ferries and several smaller boats gathered near the plane and the Coast Guard was dropping life jackets into the water for survivors in the frigid temperatures.


Trouble after takeoff


The plane was bound for Charlotte, North Carolina, with 150 passengers and five crew members on board.

Another passenger confirmed the crash happened very soon after takeoff.

"The engine blew out about three minutes into the flight and we just circled to the river and we thought, 'Oh Christ we're going to hit the water'," he said.

"Everyone kind of looked at each other and said some prayers. There was a lot of fear."

The plane's engines may have hit a flock of geese before it went down.

"I saw what looked to be a small commercial plane flying south making a gradual landing," said witness Ben Vonklemperer on CNN.

"I saw it hit the water. It made a big splash ... I did see it hit the water at a very gradual angle. It appeared not to have landing gear engaged.

"The way they hit it was very gradual. A very slow contact with the water that it made."

Coast Guard boats kept watch over the plane as night set in.
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arete
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« Reply #1 on: January 16, 2009, 09:26:06 pm »
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Great pilot.  I wish they all were like him.
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caskur™
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« Reply #2 on: January 17, 2009, 03:46:06 am »
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Great pilot.  I wish they all were like him.

They were one bloody lucky lot of individuals, that is for sure.

Still, the shock will hit home and many will have PTSD from this...
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bella
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« Reply #3 on: January 17, 2009, 07:59:53 am »
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i read that he is supposed to give his first interview today-it should be interesting.  he is a true hero in my book
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caskur
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« Reply #4 on: January 17, 2009, 11:04:53 am »
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He sure is a hero.

He has gliding experience too.

That would have saved the day.

When I go up in small aircraft, we're told that if the engines fail,

we have 5 minutes in the air to land.

You have to make those 5 minutes count. This was a little different though.

I'll have to ask my nephew how long a jet has got.
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