Flight 1549

US Airways Flight 1456 was US Airways scheduled domestic commercial passenger flight from LaGuardia Airport in New York City to Charlotte/Douglas International Airport, Charlotte, North Carolina, and onward to Seattle-Tacoma International Airport in SeaTac, Washington. On January 15, 2009, the Airbus A320-214 flying this route struck a flock of Canada Geese during its initial climb out, lost engine power, and ditched in the Hudson River off midtown Manhattan. The incident became known as the “Miracle on the Hudson”.

* AIRCRAFT: The aircraft was an Airbus A320-214, registered N106US, powered by two GE Aviation/Snecma-designed CFM56-5B4/P turbofan engines manufactured in France and the U. S. One of 74 A320s then in service in the US Airways fleet, it was built by Airbus with final assembly at its facility at Aeroport de Toulouse-Blagnac in France in June 1999. Delivered to the carrier on August 2, 1999, the airliner was registered to Wells Fargo Bank Northwest, NA, as owner/Lessor with AIG listed as the lead insurer.

The Airbus A320 is a digital fly-by-wire aircraft: the flight control surfaces are moved by electrical and hydraulic actuators controlled by a digital computer. The computer interprets pilot commands via input from a side-stick, making adjustments on its own to keep the plane stable and on course, which is particularly useful after engine failure by allowing the pilots to concentrate on engine restart and landing planning. * INCIDENT:

US Airways Flight 1456 (also designated under a Star Alliance code share agreement as United Airlines Flight 1919) was a domestic route from New York City’s LaGuardia Airport (LGA) to Charlotte/Douglas (CLT), North Carolina, with direct onward service to Seattle–Tacoma International Airport in Washington. On January 15, 2009, the flight was cleared for takeoff from Runway 4 at LaGuardia at 3:24:56 pm EST (20:24:56 UTC). The crew made its first report after becoming airborne at 3:25:51 as being at 700 feet (210 m) and climbing.

There were 150 passengers and five crew members, the captain, first officer, and three flight attendants, on board. The pilot in command was 57-year-old Capt. Chesley B. “Sully” Sullenberger, a former fighter pilot who had been an airline pilot since leaving the United States Air Force in 1980. He is also a safety expert and a glider pilot. The first officer was Jeffrey B. Skiles, 49, who was on the last leg of his first assignment in the Airbus A320 since passing the training course to fly the type.

The flight attendants were Donna Dent, Doreen Welsh and Sheila Dail. As is often the case when a regularly scheduled commercial flight is involved in an accident, use of the flight’s number, 1456, was discontinued for subsequent operations of the carrier’s afternoon LGA–CLT–SEA service. On January 16, 2009, the route was redesignated US Airways Flight 1543, and on February 12, 2009, the LGA–CLT leg became Flight 1867 when its equipment was changed to an Airbus A321. * INJURIES:

There were five serious injuries, one of which was a deep laceration in flight attendant Doreen Welsh’s leg. In total, 78 people were treated, mostly for minor injuries and hypothermia. Hospitals that treated patients included Saint Vincent’s Catholic Medical Center in Greenwich Village; St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital Center, which admitted ten people; New York Downtown Hospital, which treated three passengers; and Palisades Medical Center in North Bergen, New Jersey, which treated five patients for hypothermia.

In all, 24 passengers and two rescue personnel were treated at hospitals, while others were cared for in triage facilities. According to the airline, no pets were being transported in the cargo hold, with a spokesperson stating, “We don’t carry pets in our cargo. ” * WHY THIS ACCIDENT OCCURRED: Bird strike was the main reason by which this accident occurred and the bird strike, which occurred just northeast of the George Washington Bridge about three minutes into the flight, resulted in an immediate and complete loss of thrust from both engines.

When the crew of the aircraft determined that they would be unable to reliably reach any airfield, they turned southbound and glided over the Hudson, finally ditching the airliner near the USS Intrepid museum about three minutes after losing power. All 155 occupants safely evacuated the airliner, which was still virtually intact though partially submerged and slowly sinking, and were quickly rescued by nearby ferries and other watercraft. * Recommendation: ————————————————-

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.

————————————————- Work with the military, manufacturers, and National Aeronautics Space Administration to complete the development of a technology capable of informing pilots about the continuing operational status of an engine. ————————————————- Once the development of the engine technology has been completed, as asked for in Safety Recommendation, require the implementation of the technology on transport-category airplane engines equipped with full-authority digital engine controls.

(A-10-63) ————————————————- Require manufacturers of turbine-powered aircraft to develop a checklist and procedure for a dual-engine failure occurring at a low altitude. Require Airbus operators to amend the ditching portion of the Engine Dual Failure checklist and any other applicable checklists to include a step to select the ground proximity warning system and terrain alerts to OFF during the final descent.

————————————————- Require Airbus operators to expand the angle-of-attack-protection envelope limitations ground-school training to inform pilots about alpha-protection mode features while in normal law that can affect the pitch response of the airplane. ————————————————- ————————————————- ————————————————-