The National Transportation Safety Board has now issued its official review of "The Miracle On The Hudson" – the US Airways flight from New York City that struck a flock of geese, lost all power, and was forced to land in the Hudson River last January.
The National Transportation Safety Board has now issued its official review of “The Miracle On The Hudson” – the US Airways flight from New York City that struck a flock of geese, lost all power, and was forced to land in the Hudson River last January.
NTSB’s analysis confirms what we learned from news reports at the time – Captain Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger and the rest of the crew on Flight 1549 performed marvelously in the face of looming disaster, saving the lives of 150 horrified passengers by landing the jet intact and quickly evacuating it. Their performance has been hailed with such phrases as “stoic,” “nearly flawless,” and “heroic.”
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But another laudatory term should be applied to them as well: “union.” Practically everyone involved in averting this disaster was a union-trained professional. Captain Sully himself is not only a member of the Airline Pilots Association, but also served on its national governing committee and is APA’s former safety chairman. Indeed, he and his union have had to fight airline chieftains who’ve tried to cut back on the safety training programs that allowed him to save those lives.
Likewise, the cool-headed flight attendants who so expeditiously moved those nearly-panicked people off the plane, are members of their union, the Association of Flight Attendants, which also stresses safety. The ferry crews that zipped into action, skillfully and quickly maneuvering their boats right up to the wings to rescue passengers – they’re in the Seafarers International Union, which gives them the safety courses that enabled them to respond as they did. The cops, firefighters, and air traffic controllers also performed marvelously – all union trained.
At a time when corporate interests in all sectors of our economy are trying to eliminate unions, remember Flight 1549 – the union-made miracle on the Hudson.
“Pilots nearly flawless over Hudson,” USA Today, June 10, 2009.
“NTSB: Pilots ill-trained for water landings,” USA Today, June 10, 2009.
“Air crash connections,” USA Today, June 10, 2009.
“US Airways Flight 1549: This Miracle Brought to You By America’s Unions,” www.alternet.org, January 16, 2009.