Friday, January 15, 2010

One year anniversary for US 1549

A US Airways A-320 in position, awaiting takeoff clearance on runway 4 at LGA. You can see the Empire State building in the background in Manhattan. This is exactly how 1549 appeared a year ago today, 1/15/09.


Just a short post to congratulate the crew of US Airways flight 1549 for a job well done as they assemble in New York today to celebrate their anniversary. The praise and recognition that Sully, Jeff, Donna, Doreen and Sheila have received and the manner in which they've handled it speaks volumes about their character. They are quick to praise others and deflect credit and are probably the finest representatives of what an airline crew is and represents. They were five individuals, assembled by the oddities of the monthly bid process, that acted as one to save 150 passengers and countless others who would have been severely impacted by a tragic outcome. But we don't need to think about that do we? Even with all the automation, downsizing and industry uncertainty, humans make up the most important part of this equation. And here are five humans at their best.

For those unfamiliar with LGA, this is the view that Sully and Jeff experienced as Jeff advanced the power for takeoff. You're looking down runway 4 with the LGA control tower to the right.

I just finished reading Sully's book, Highest Duty, which I loved by the way and strongly recommend, but I wanted to share just one of his thoughts. When asked by his daughter Kate what "integrity" was, he answered her, but continued with this for his readers.

"Integrity is the core of my profession. An airline pilot has to do the right thing every time, even if that means delaying or canceling a flight to address a maintenance or other issue, even if it means inconveniencing 183 people who want to get home, including the pilot. By delaying the flight, I am ensuring that they will get home. I'm trained to be intolerant of anything less than the highest standards of my profession."


  1. They are for sure a great example of commitment and outstanding performance... they are the example of the great reliability of flight crews around the world... :)

    Great pics Capt. Peck...

  2. Hey Rand,
    It sure is weird to not see any NW flight numbers on Flightaware tracking today! The King is Dead. Long Live the King!

    Tim G in Mn

  3. I agree with your comments about Sully and his crew. I also read Highest Duty. I also read a book called "Fly By Wire" by William Langewiesche which was very enlightening (and I hope accurate) about the Airbus flight control systems. An excellent read!