Daily Archives: February 14, 2009

Let’s Learn From Airline Crashes, Even When Nobody Dies

Here’s an idea. After we get done looking at the causes of the turboprop crash that killed 50 people outside Buffalo on Thursday, and how to prevent similar crashes, let’s take another look at the Continental “splash landing” in the Hudson River.

Let’s pretend the “miracle flight” didn’t end so happily, that the flight crew didn’t manage to ditch the jet so expertly. Let’s try to learn something when a crew’s best efforts to save an aircraft and its passengers work, as well as when they don’t.

Because the truth is, were it not for the pilots’ skill and a set of fortunate circumstances for Continental Flight 1549 — the plane got into trouble right over the Hudson, it was daylight so the pilots could see the river, and rescue crews were nearby — that flight might have ended very differently.

Continue reading