43 thoughts on “US Airways 1549”

  1. Agreed.When have you ever heard a story about a plane crash with a completely happy ending?
    My husband was at a meeting in Hoboken and saw the tail drift by (?!). At least everyone was off by then.

  2. Moxie, I’m a long-time reader who is delurking to say that I had the same thought — when I feel down about humanity, these stories lift me up again.

  3. Kate and Danielle beat me to my first thoughts: How awesome is it to have a plane crash with a happy ending? And how awesome is it for you to tag this “Appropriate Behavior?”

  4. Oh my heavens, we’ve got the inauguration coming up, filling me with hope and a sense of how great America can be, and now this incredibly heartening event with real heroes and a happy ending. I’m all teary eyed here.

  5. I can’t stop thinking of the woman with the baby (really, everybody on the plane — but she is me, you know?) hearing the captain say, “Ok folks, we’re going down. Brace for impact.” (assuming that’s close to what he said) and her sitting there, holding her baby, knowing they’re headed for the water … what went through her mind? What did she say to her baby? To herself? To her God? They are all safe and alive … and yet they all had to look down the barrel of that crash and reckon with those last few seconds before they hit the water … Those people are not simply alive — they are CHANGED.I can only imagine they stood so calmly unflinching on the wings of their sinking plane, grateful for the frigid water on their feet and the freezing wind on their faces, because as long as they could feel the cold and wet, they were alive. Amen and amen.
    Nice work, Captain Sollenberger.

  6. Thank God it wasn’t as cold there as it is here. I heard about it and wondered what I would do if I were going into the water with my baby with the temperature below zero. So scary. And amazing that everyone was okay.

  7. It’s hard to fathom what those people went through in the moments before impact. And then, once they were safe — oh, I can’t imagine the emotion.A warm hug to anyone who was remotely affected by this! Bless you all, and HURRAY for the pilot especially.

  8. This story has given me the goosebumps over and over again since I first heard about it. It makes me believe in humanity a little bit more than I did before.And what a heroic pilot–he saved 155 people’s lives!

  9. I cannot stop thinking about the pilot and what an extraordinary human being he must be.And how we expect such competence from the people who touch our lives in meaningful ways (people who care for our kids, people who handle our money, etc.) but are sometimes disappointed.

  10. I’m in awe of the pilot:LANDED plane in river to avoid densely populated areas.
    LANDED plane carefully, nose slightly up, so as to keep plane intact.
    Walked the aisle of the plane twice after evacuation to make sure nobody had been left behind.
    And I’m in awe of the flight attendants: continued to call more detailed instructions as plane was going down. Ran what apparently was a more or less orderly evacuation.
    And sure, these things are what these people train for — but how often are you called upon to use this training? How often do you get to practice? And yet, in the trenches, you still somehow have to call it up from somewhere in your brain and in your guts. I’m VERY impressed.
    And a BIG shout out to all the ferry boats, police boats, etc. Again, yes, it’s part of the city’s emergency planning. But the impressive part (besides the fact that apparently the plan is a good one, because it worked) is how well everybody responded: they DID what was required, and they did it FAST.
    I’m really impressed, and really happy. It cheers me up immensely to hear stories about something this big and important going RIGHT.

  11. So nice to read all these comments. It’s a scary thing and then it’s an amazing thing, heartwarming that help was there in an instant. Go New Yorkers!

  12. I get teary-eyed whenever I hear or even think about this story! This was indeed Appropriate Behavior and heart-warming to hear about how everyone behaved. A story to give me faith in humankind.That pilot is a hero, as are the flight attendants! The people on the plane also deserve praise for being calm, orderly and respectful!
    I have found that since having my child whenever I hear about any accidents or life-threatening incidents, one of my first thoughts is what if I had my child with me? How would I get her out and safe? After hearing about this and imagining what it must have been like, I’m even more sure that slings are wonderful. My plan for every plane ride now is to keep my sling very handy, so if I had to escape with my toddler, I could keep her close against me while having both arms available. This is how I think now.

  13. Heartwrenching and heartwarming story. And to know how everything had to have been in place for everyone to have survived: a wide, straight river to land in, experienced professionals at the controls, a very specific type of aircraft with the water safety features, ferries and rescue crews there within 2-3 minutes. Truly amazing!A general comment: this whole thing makes me happy that whenever we’ve flown – luckily without incident – we have bought seats and the babies are safely strapped in their car seats. Keeps us sane and them safe.
    Great idea about the sling! Even without an emergency, travel is so hectic that it would be helpful to have your hands free, definitely.

  14. I, too, tear up every time I think about this. It such an amazing, awe-inspiring story. I just want to give NY and everyone on that plane, especially the crew, a huge hug.

  15. A friend of mine in the aviation industry said that the possibility of this sort of thing is why lap babies are a bad bad idea. To quote him: “in that situation, they turn into a projectile.”Made me stop whining about paying for a seat, let me tell you.
    Oh, and best air travel invention ever? Sit N’ Stroll.

  16. As a former flight attendant for US Airways, I can tell you that there has never been a successful “ditching” (landing an aircraft into water)in the history of aviation until this. HUGE HORRAH to the flight crew (especially the flight attendants who have gone mostly unmentioned) who are responsible for getting all of the passengers out safely.I can also say that US Airways (as old fashioned and outdated as they are in many respects) have an absolutely-no holds barred-kick butt-safety training program. I swear when I went away to flight school, (for an entire month might I add) I thought I accidentally ended up in boot camp, its no joke. WAY TO GO US AIR for keeping your safety standards up to par.

  17. I agree that the flight attendants have been under-mentioned. They kept the passengers calm, told them what to do. And HUGE kudos to the passengers. They stayed calm and helped each other. They could have survived the crash and died/ had lots of injuries in the evacuation if they hadn’t. (I know from my previous job that evacuations of any sort can be very dangerous) YAY for the happy ending !

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