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Pour la petite histoire et en cette période de célébration de la chute du mur, un petit parallèle entre l'Hudson et la Neva
Sullenberger responds to book
US Airways pilot Chesley B. Sullenberger III says a new book overstates the role of technology in guiding his glide into the Hudson River in January.
In "Fly by Wire: The Geese, the Glide, the Miracle on the Hudson," William Langewiesche argues the real hero is Bernard Ziegler, who, with his Airbus colleagues, perfected fly-by-wire controls.
The book "greatly overstates how much it mattered" that the A320 featured an automated cockpit, Sullenberger told The New York Times on Sunday. He said the outcome of the emergency landing would have been the same whether the plane was an electronically controlled Airbus or a more conventional Boeing.
"Others in the industry knowledgeable about these technical issues know there are misstatements of fact in 'Fly by Wire,'" Sullenberger told The Times. See more details in the story.
Members of the US National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) today expressed concern about pilot training in water landings as it closed its investigation of the now famous ditching of a US Airways Airbus A320 in New York's Hudson river.
The ditching occurred on 15 January 2009 after Canada geese struck both engines of the jet as it climbed out from New York LaGuardia airport.
In its final report the board cited FAA's inadequate ditching certification standards and lack of industry training on ditching techniques.
NTSB is applauding the crew resource management used by the pilots and states that Chesley Sullenberger's decision to land in the Hudson "provided the highest probability that the accident would be survivable". Former US Airways captain Sullenberger became a national hero in the USA after successfully landing the aircraft into the river. All 150 passengers and five crewmembers survived.
However, the board did state the captain had difficulty maintaining intended airspeed during final approach, which caused high angles of attack that led to difficulty in maintaining intended airspeed during final approach. The challenges in keeping a consistent airspeed resulted in part from stress and task saturation, the board states.
The board is expressing concern that the A320 placed on the flight was certified for extended water operations, and so had additional safety equipment including forward slide/rafts. Members are stressing that equipping aircraft with flotation seat cushions and life vests on all flights, regardless of the route, will provide passengers with water buoyancy and stability in the event of an accident occurring on water.
Now that the investigation is closed, NTSB has issued a total of 35 safety recommendations to FAA and EASA spanning aircraft certification standards, checklist design, flight crew training, airport wildlife mitigation, cabin safety equipment and pre-flight passenger briefings.
Recommendations targeted to Airbus include requiring Airbus operators to change the engine dual failure checklist to include a step to select ground proximity warning system and terrain alerts to "off" during final descent. The NTSB has determined that guidance in the engine dual failure checklist is not consistent with a separate ditching checklist, which includes a step to inhibit those systems.
NTSB is also recommending FAA require Airbus to redesign the frame 65 vertical beam on its narrowbody family to lessen the likelihood it will intrude into the cabin during a gear-up landing. One of the flight attendants on the accident aircraft was injured by frame 65 after it punctured the cabin floor during impact, the board explains. "Because of the beam's location directly beneath the flight attendant's aft, direct-view jumpseat, any individual seated in this location during a ditching or gear-up landing is at risk for serious injury due to the compression and or collapse of the airplane structure".
Board chairman Deborah Hersman states: "Even in an accident where everyone survives, there are lessons learned and areas that could use improvement. Our report today takes these lessons learned so that, if our recommendations are implemented, every passenger and crewmember may have the opportunity to benefit from the advances in safety."
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
WASHINGTON -- A federal safety panel says the pilot made the right choice to ditch US Airways Flight 1549 into the Hudson River last year, even though he could have made it back to New York's LaGuardia Airport.
National Transportation Safety Board is releasing documents Tuesday related to the incident as it tries to draw safety lessons.
The documents show that if pilot Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger had immediately attempted to return to LaGuardia after ingesting geese into both engines the Airbus A320 would have made it - barely. That scenario would have required Sullenberger to make an immediate decision with little or no time to assess the situation. The documents say Sullenberger would have had no way of knowing that he would be successful, and therefore would have been risking the possibility of a catastrophic crash in a densely populated area.
The 155 people aboard the plane survived.
WASHINGTON — Everybody got out alive when US Airways Flight 1549 hit the Hudson River 16 months ago, but only because of a “perfect storm” of happy circumstances that went beyond the actions of the crew, the chairwoman of the National Transportation Safety Board said Tuesday as the board made 33 recommendations for safety improvements.
A key factor, according to board experts, was that the airplane was equipped for extended flying over water, although that was not required for its intended route, from La Guardia Airport to Charlotte, N.C. As a result, it carried four inflatable devices meant to be available as evacuation slides and as rafts, and the two that worked were a safe haven for 64 passengers and crew members; without the rafts, some of them would probably have died in the 41-degree water, board experts said.
“If the visibility had been poor; if the flight had simply met, rather than exceeded, safety equipment standards; if the incident took place over open water where rescue vessels were not at hand; if even a single element had changed, the ditching could have ended not as a miracle but as a tragedy,” said Deborah A.P. Hersman, chairwoman of the board, which met on Tuesday to approve a final report on the crash landing.
Ms. Hersman said “the heroism of the flight crew was a necessary, but not sufficient element.”
The number of flight safety recommendations was extraordinary considering that all 155 people on board walked away, with only five serious injuries, when the plane, an Airbus A320, sucked geese into both engines shortly after takeoff on Jan. 15, 2009, and was brought down by the crew into the Hudson River.
But the crash shined a spotlight on a previously hypothetical area of airplane regulation: how to assure safety for an airplane that the crew must bring down in water. The Federal Aviation Administration had never tested the airplane manufacturer’s assumption that a pilot could bring it down at a rate of about three and a half feet per second; this plane came down at about 13 feet per second, causing severe hull damage that resulted in the plane’s taking on water, the board said.
There was renewed praise at the hearing for the captain, Chesley B. Sullenberger III, and the first officer, Jeffrey B. Skiles, but the board found that it was “possible but unlikely” that pilots could set the plane down as the manufacturer had assumed.
The pilots were trained to follow a checklist that focused on restarting the engines, but nothing in the cockpit told them that the engines were damaged beyond hope, board experts said. The experts called for cockpit instruments that would give more detailed information to pilots on the condition of their engines and also recommended new checklists based on low-altitude engine failure; the one the US Airways pilots had was for a high-altitude failure, in which case more time would have been available.
Board experts said that the damage on touchdown — which let water flow into the back of the fuselage and submerged the rear doors, rendering their slide-rafts useless — might be typical in such cases and recommended that rafts be located where they were more likely to be accessible. The experts also found that passengers had trouble finding the life vests and then putting them on.
And approval of the airplane’s design was based on the idea that the over-wing exits would not be used. But the Association of Flight Attendants pointed out in a document the board released on Tuesday that in this crash, passengers in the emergency rows exercised “self help” and opened the over-wing exits. Because the wing exits had only slides, and not slide-rafts like the doors, passengers who exited through those openings could have been marooned in the frigid water if rescue boats had not arrived before the plane sank.
But the passengers evidently assumed that the inflatable slides on the wings, designed to let them slide safely to ground level, were also rafts. “It kept flipping over,” one passenger, Tess Sosa, who took the train from New York to watch the hearing, recalled on Tuesday. Standing on the right wing as the water rose, she and other passengers were certain the slide was also a raft, she said.
Ms. Sosa, who now lives in East Hampton, N.Y., had her son Damian, then 10 months old, on her lap. She said the accident persuaded her that babies should not be permitted on laps — that they needed their own seats and appropriate safety restraints. This was not among the recommendations on Tuesday, but board members agreed they would hold a session soon on safety for “lap children.”
Documents and comments by experts reasserted the idea that Captain Sullenberger’s decision to put the plane in the water was sound. Some pilots and experts have noted that from the point the engines quit, the runways of La Guardia may have been closer than the eventual touchdown point on the Hudson, but that it may have been impossible for the crew to know that at the time.
Clay McConnell, a spokesman for Airbus, said that the recommendations were “reasonable” and that his company was already working on two of them: better checklists and a change in the design of a floor beam. A beam at the back of the plane popped out of the floor and gashed the shin of the flight attendant there.
Les Dorr Jr., a spokesman for the F.A.A., said that his agency had no immediate comment on the details of the recommendation but that the agency agreed with the board’s broad approach, which included consideration of the airplane itself, changes at airports and changes in managing birds. One recommendation was to work on lights or other systems that could be put on planes to make the planes more conspicuous to birds.