While only one in five birdstrikes is ever reported, one unusual strike this past January 15, with an even more remarkable outcome, gained global attention and might bring advisories and eventually new certification and training standards to operators of all turbine-powered aircraft.
Aviation in New York City
On Tuesday, the NTSB opened a three-day hearing to focus on the January 15 ditching on New York’s Hudson River by an Airbus A320 operating as US Airways flight 1549 from La Guardia Airport. All 150 passengers and five crew escaped, though one flight attendant and four passengers were seriously injured.
You can’t find a solution until you’ve defined the problem. That’s the motivation behind a survey launched by Raymond A. Syms Associates intended to pull together heliport general information and create a database that will help improve heliport safety.
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.
U.S. Helicopter has had to suspend its scheduled service from New York’s Downtown/Wall Street heliport to Newark and JFK airports after the heliport’s new operator, FirstFlight, failed to develop a TSA-approved security plan. U.S. Helicopter serves the airports with Sikorsky S-76Bs.
A spokesman for U.S. Helicopter said the company could resume flights from New York’s Wall Street heliport early next year. U.S. Helicopter was forced to suspend its scheduled, $159-per-passenger Sikorsky S-76B service from New York’s Downtown/Wall Street heliport to Newark and JFK airports after the heliport’s new operator, FirstFlight, failed to develop a TSA-approved security plan.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia yesterday granted a petition by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey to order a stay of the FAA’s plans to auction takeoff and landing slots at Newark Liberty International Airport and New York JFK and La Guardia Airports.
While the legal wrangling continues, a new operator took over New York’s Downtown Manhattan Heliport last month. It is now run by FirstFlight, a subsidiary of Air Pegasus, the company that currently operates the West 30th Street Heliport. FirstFlight has a 10-year contract to run the Manhattan Heliport; losing bidder Linden Airport Management is challenging that agreement in Manhattan Supreme Court.
The Department of Transportation has announced it will press forward with plans to auction takeoff and landing slots at the three major New York-area airports, despite a GAO opinion that the department did not have the authority to do so. The announcement drew condemnation from the Air Transport Association, which called the idea ill-conceived and predicted that it would result in a costly legal battle.