Saturday, January 17, 2009

What Had to Happen


Three minutes. In the time it takes to soft-boil an egg, to brush your hair, to put a band-aid on your child's owie, Chesley Sullenberger had to transition from what was just another routine take-off to crash-landing his plane in a river in the middle of New York City. What was that like? My friend Dana's brother is a pilot and sent her the following:

This guy made it look easy there in New York yesterday. Thought you might be interested what had to be accomplished by the crew in the 3 minutes they were airborne:

1. Brief the flight attendants.
2. Advise ATC of the situation. Declare an emergency and set the transponder to 7700.
3. If practical, brief the passengers of the situation and your planned course of action.
4. Place the GPWS SYS pb to OFF.
5. Place SEAT BELTS and NO SMOKING switches to ON.
6. Place the EMER EXIT LT switch to ON.
7. Place the COMMERCIAL pb to OFF.
8. If required, turn the CABIN PRESS LDG ELEV selector out of AUTO and set the actual landing elevation.
9. Set the local altimeter setting (if available).
10. Place the OXYGEN CREW SUPPLY pb to OFF.

When below 5,000 feet:
5. Place the GPWS SYS pb to OFF.
6. Place SEAT BELTS and NO SMOKING switches to ON.
7. Place the EMER EXIT LT switch to ON.
8. Place the COMMERCIAL pb to OFF.
9. Select 1,000 feet with the LDG ELEV rotary selector.
10.Select the local altimeter setting (if available).
11.Place the OXYGEN CREW SUPPLY pb to OFF.
12.Confirm the landing gear lever is UP.

If the engines are running:
• Use the maximum flap setting available.


If the engines are not running:
• Place the LAND RECOVERY pb to ON.
• Select FLAPS 1 for landing.
• Place the T TK MODE pb to AUTO.
• Place the T TK FEED switch to AUTO.
• Maintain a minimum RAT speed of 140 knots.
• Use rudder with care.
13. Place the ENG START selector to NORM.
14. Ensure that the CAB PRESS MODE SEL pb is in AUTO.
15. Place the ENG 1 BLEED, ENG 2 BLEED, and APU BLEED pbs to OFF.
16. Place the DITCHING pb to ON.

At 1,000 feet:
17. Announce “FLIGHT ATTENDANTS, BE SEATED FOR LANDING” via the PA and flash the SEAT BELTS signs OFF to ON several times. If the PA is inoperative, flash the SEAT BELTS signs OFF to ON several times.
18. Just prior to ditching: Place both ENG MASTER switches to OFF and the APU MASTER SW to OFF.
19. Attempt to touchdown at a pitch attitude of 11°

After Ditching:
20. Notify the flight attendants “EASY VICTOR” three times.
21. Push the ENG 1 FIRE, ENG 2 FIRE and APU FIRE pbs.
22. Push all of the ENG AGENT and APU AGENT pbs.
23. Notify the flight attendants “EVACUATE THE AIRCRAFT” three times.

Photo from the New York Times.

2 comments:

Loo said...

We were in flight to NYC ourselves when the pilot announced that a plane was down in the Hudson at 34th Street. Because our plane had internet access, they felt they had to tell us about it. They also informed us that we might have to divert since NY airspace was closed. A little while later the pilot came back on to say that everyone was safe and that we were on schedule for an on-time arrival at JFK. I know I now have a lot more respect for flight crews and will pay a little more attention to where that nearest exit is . . .

kab said...

Wow...that had to have been a little unnerving for you.

And we can all hope that if something like that (heaven forfend) should ever happen, that the pilot is as skilled as Capt. Sullenberger.