Wrong Place at the Wrong Time
Each time I board an airplane, I turn on my iPod and I'm usually asleep before the plane even takes off. When I was young I used to love looking through the safety brochure that seemed like a cartoon in seat pocket in front of me. I never even bother to look at it anymore and I never pay any attention to the flight attendants when they give their preflight safety speech. I would probably have no idea what to do if the plane crashed but what are the chances that will ever happen? What are the chances that my plane will collide paths with a flock of geese? That's what happened in New York today and remarkably, all the passengers survived the crash.
About three minutes into the flight, the plane hit a flock of birds and one or both of the engines went out.
Passenger Jeff Kolodjay of Norwalk, Conn., said he heard an explosion two or three minutes into the flight. He looked out of the left side of the plane and could see one of the engines on fire.
"The captain came on and said, 'Look, we're going down. Brace for impact.' Everyone looked at each other and we said our prayers. I said about five Hail Marys,"
While the passengers were panicking, the pilot remained calm and landed the plane in the freezing cold Hudson River.
"He landed it — I tell you what — the impact wasn't a whole lot more than a rear-end (collision). It threw you into the seat ahead of you. Both engines cut out, and he actually floated it into the river,"
The landing that pilot Chesley B. "Sully" Sullenberger was able to pull off was nothing short of remarkable. This type of landing cannot be practiced in flight school but he remained calm and brought the plane to a safe landing. All 155 passengers survived and the only serious injury was one passenger who suffered two broken legs.
When I first read this I laughed that an accident this serious could be caused by a small bird but it turns out it is not an uncommon problem.
Since 1975, five large jetliners have had major accidents in which bird strikes played a role, according to the Web site of Bird Strike Committee USA, a volunteer group dedicated to reducing the frequency and severity of the strikes.
More than 56,000 bird strikes were reported to the FAA from 1998 to 2004, according to the group's Web site.
A 4-pound bird exerts more than 6 tons of force if hit by a plane traveling 200 mph
I kind of feel bad for the bird, I mean talk about being in the wrong place at the wrong time. I will think about this accident next time I board an airplane. I want to know what to do when my plane goes down because of a poor little bird that even the most intense airport security can't protect us from.