It’s been almost a year since Captain Sullenberger and First Officer Skiles brought their stricken Airbus, USAir flight 1549, to a controlled ditch in the Hudson River. I remain amazed at the skill these 2 men showed at the controls of their ship, not only bringing it to a landing intact but in doing so in such a manner as to have all 155 passengers survive essentially without a scratch on them.
What tended to get lost in the telling was the speed of events; how fast things went very, very wrong and how little time to react the crew actually had. Thanks to a link from Instapundit, we can now see the events recreated in some truly spectacular animation. The link takes us to Wired Magazine and then on to ExoSphere3D. The footage is in a big, honkin’ YouTubeHD window and it’s worth every second to watch. The footage shows you the surrounding area and then takes you on a recreation of the flight from takeoff to splashdown. The entire film is just over 7 minutes long.
In the film window you’ll see an external view of the plane itself. Below that at the lower left you get a view out the cockpit windows. That’s useful for when the moment of the birdstrike comes. You’ll see how fast the strikes happened from the moment that Sullenberger calls out “Birds!” Arrayed around the lower right corner are windows that show the text of the cockpit and radio communications. The actual ATC voice recordings are used during communication between the plane and the ground but the communication between Sullenberger and Skiles only shows as text. You can see them working the problem as best they can in the time they have.
Go have a look for yourself. Nothing I can say will do it justice. And, in case I haven’t said it lately: Captain Sullenberger, First Officer Skiles – good work, gentlemen!