Friday, 16 January 2009

That's What I Call Flying Number 2,367

The amazing demonstration of skill, training, cool-headedness and sheer bloody good luck that enabled Captain Chesley Sullenberg to land his aircraft safely in the River Hudson in New York yesterday deserves the ALPA Superior Airmanship Award at least and should be considered for the 2010 Collier Trophy and the FAI Diploma for Outstanding Airmanship.

The accident raises three important points:

1) Pilots are worth their salaries.
2) Your chances of surviving any aviation emergency are hugely increased by listening to the pre-flight safety briefing and reading the instructions in the seatback in front of you. Life jackets are provided to prevent you drowning. So please feel free to heckle any so-called comedians with a routine that mocks aviation safety. Far better they die on stage than you die in an airliner.

3) And this is combined with the Heathrow third runway go-ahead announcement: why shouldn't passenger flying-boats be reintrduced? Just imagine catching the boatplane at the Pool of London then taxying out for a take-off from the Thames Estuary. Admittedly, there are some minor downsides to flying boats like economics and corrosion but these could be designed out or around. It's been forty rears since TEAL ended flying boat operations in the South Pacific, fifty odd years since Aquila Airways stopped its Solent flights,

sixty since BOAC beached its Sandringhams and seventy since the heyday of Imperial Airways' Empire flying boats to South Africa and Australia.

Even the Americans had a fair whack in the thirties with big Sikorsky, Martin and Boeing boats

. So come on Mandy, give me the money to build a Saro Princess with modern engines etc.


CherryPie said...

That was an amazing landing!

haddock said...

you mention the seat back when talking of safety....but not the seat.... turn the bloody things to face the rear! very few survivable landings are made backwards.... and the lady probably would not have suffered broken legs.

Gallimaufry said...

An excellent additional point haddock: The RAF have had backward facing seats for passengers for yonks for that reason.

James Higham said...

Great viewing, this.