Flight 1549 Black Box Recorders Confirm Bird Strike
The examination of Flight 1549 black box recorders has confirmed initial allegations made by the flight's crew that bird strike was the cause of the plane's double engine failure. Black boxes revealed that the flight captain Chesley Sullenberger, who is now hailed a hero for saving the lives of 155 passengers and crew by making a successful ditiching landing in Hudson river on January 15th, notified air traffic control that he lost power in both engines simultaneously as the result of the bird strike when the plane was just 3,200 feet above ground. He also told traffic controlers that it would be impossible for him to return to LaGuardia airport and that landing in the river was one of the only options. The on-board recorders have confirmed Sullenberger's account.
A jetliner that crash-landed in the Hudson River had lost power simultaneously in both engines after reaching an altitude of only 3,200 feet, the plane's black box recorders revealed Sunday.
"The captain makes radio call to ATC (air traffic control) calling mayday and reports that they hit birds, lost both engines and were returning to LaGuardia" airport, said Kitty Higgins, a National Transportation Safety Board member, releasing cockpit transmissions captured on flight data and voice recorders.
"We first try to confirm what the crew told us and that's what happened here; it's all consistent," said Robert Benzon, the lead NTSB investigator, adding that study of the black box data will take up to a year.
Sullenberger and Skiles described to investigators the moment the geese struck the jet. Skiles said the birds flew straight at them in perfect formation. Sullenberger said that in an instant the windscreen was filled with birds.
"His instinct was to duck," Higgins said. Then there was a thump, the smell of burning birds, and silence as both aircraft engines cut out, she said.
After gliding the jet over the George Washington bridge, Sullenberger picked a stretch of water near Manhattan's commuter ferry terminals to land.
As a tribute, the entire crew of Flight 1549 has been invited to Barack Obama’s inauguration on Tuesday, January 20th.
The five crew members of a US Airways jet that safely ditched in New York's Hudson River have been invited to president-elect Barack Obama's inauguration, a spokeswoman said Monday.
Chief pilot Chesley Sullenberger -- praised by Obama for his "heroic" conduct -- and the rest of his crew have been invited to attend Tuesday's historic celebration in Washington, Obama spokeswoman Jen Psaki said.