Editor's Log

March 2009 Issue

A Game

Unless you’ve been living under a rock since mid-January, you have at least a passing familiarity with the January 15, 2009, water landing in the Hudson River. US Airways Flight 1549, an Airbus A320 departing New York’s LaGuardia for Charlotte, N.C., apparently suffered multiple bird strikes, disabling both engines. The crew, admirably, ditched the airplane in the Hudson River with no loss of life and only one injury. The popular media labeled the flight’s captain, Chesley B. "Sully" Sullenberger, a hero for successfully handling the emergency. Almost completely ignored were the team efforts of Sullenberger’s crew, including First Officer Jeffrey B. Skiles, who was flying the takeoff and departure, and the three flight attendants, who successfully prepared and evacuated the cabin. The outcome would not have been nearly so favorable if the crew hadn’t been properly trained and prepared. Instead of labeling Flight 1549 a miracle and its captain a hero, we all should use this event as a teaching episode and wonder how things might have turned out if the crew hadn’t been prepared.

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