Pretty incredible landing yesterday by the US Airways pilot after the bird strike. It was great to see everyone get off the plane safely with only minor injuries. I’m not sure the media is getting across just how great a job the pilot, Chesley B. "Sully" Sullenberger III, did in getting the plane down and getting his passengers out safely. As a private pilot myself, I know the kind of training you go through for emergencies. Private pilots flying small planes are trained to always have an emergency landing spot in mind. If you are ever flying with a private pilot, at any time during the flight if you asked where they’d put the plane down in an emergency, they’d be able to tell you.
But it’s more than that. There’s something called aeronautical decision-making (often abbreviated ADM) that pilots are trained in. This is essentially making fast decisions with the information at hand, and committing to those decisions. Often times, accidents happen because pilots don’t decide fast enough, or don’t commit to their decisions. Yesterday, we saw a pilot make an instant decision and commit to it. The result was a safe ditching of the aircraft, followed by the safe debarking of everyone off the plane.
And give credit to the ferries and other watercraft that sped to the rescue of the passengers as well.
This is an example of equipment working correctly, crew working correctly, passengers doing the right thing, and rescuers making a quick response and I don’t doubt that it will be taken as a text book model of executing an emergency water landing in the future. Simply a magnificent job by everyone.