The US Airways “heroes of the Hudson” pilots used a House aviation subcommittee hearing Tuesday as a bully pulpit to characterize cost-cutting in the U.S. airline industry as both a threat to passenger safety and to the recruitment and retention of career aviators.
Survivors of an accident in which a Eurocopter Super Puma ditched into the North Sea last Wednesday have praised the skills of the pilots and also the successful first operation of a new automated rescue system just introduced by oil company BP. All 18 people on board the Eurocopter AS 332 Mark II Super Puma were quickly rescued and only three of them required hospital treatment for minor injuries.
The Smithsonian Institution has identified the bird remains found in both engines of the US Airways A320 that ditched into the Hudson River on January 15 as those of Canada Geese. The Smithsonian’s feather identification lab has so far examined 25 samples of bird remains and reached its conclusion through DNA analysis and through morphological comparisons with specimens in the museum’s collections.
A US Airways Airbus A320 carrying 150 passengers and five crew on board ditched into New York’s Hudson River late this afternoon and initial reports indicate that all the occupants escaped with their lives. Flight 1549 had taken off moments earlier from New York La Guardia Airport for a flight to Charlotte, N.C., when the A320 descended into the 35-degree F water near Manhattan’s 57th Street.
For those who operate aircraft over water, knowing how to ditch is an important safety issue. So is having the right equipment. Eastern Aero Marine, based in Miami, claims 15 lives have been saved in three aircraft ditchings in the past six months after crew and passengers used its inflatable survival gear products.
The emotional roller coaster created by September 11 has forced many companies to completely rethink their international travel options. These new travel strategies have translated into a significant increase in business aviation flying hours outside the U.S.
PIPER PA-31-350, HOLLYWOOD, FLA., JAN. 1, 2002–One passenger died and four others were seriously injured when the pilot was forced to ditch into the Atlantic Ocean after declaring a minimum fuel condition to Miami Center. The flight was en route from North Eleuthera Island to Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL). As the pilot received a handoff to the FLL tower, he declared an emergency.
Grand Aire, a Toledo, Ohio-based air-taxi company, continues to reside under a black cloud as it experienced its fifth and sixth accidents since the beginning of 2000, including one previous fatal accident. The two most recent accidents, both involving Dassault Falcon 20s on April 8, killed three pilots in one crash and seriously injured two in a second accident.
The NTSB wants the FAA to emphasize the need for pilots, particularly those in single-pilot Part 135 operations, to provide “timely emergency briefings.” The Safety Board’s recommendation follows its investigation into the July 13, 2003, fatal ditching of a scheduled Part 135 Cessna 402 in the water off the Bahamas after one engine failed at 3,500 feet msl.
The FAA has given its 2004 Excellence in Aviation Research Award to the Flight Safety Foundation (FSF) for publishing a manual on ditching for corporate, fractional, on-demand and commuter operators.