Sully: The Official Accident Report is Great Reading

This cross-posted from my comment on Philip Greenspun’s Weblog. Went to his link from a post on the Sully movie and read the accident report. Long but you don’t have to read it all. Sully did a great job but not just stick-and-rudder. He instinctively started the auxiliary power unit and thus retained all the automation and hydraulic power needed to ditch in the “normal law” fly-by-wire regime which protects the plane from stalling. I had presumed he was in one of the degraded regimes that are more dicey. They were also fortunate to be in one of 20 USAir A320’s equipped for over-water (more than 50 miles offshore) so they had slide-rafts and did not have to depend on 150 shocked passengers finding and donning life vests. A few people did, and some more removed their seat cushions, but the rafts plus the wings kept everybody out of the 42 degree water, which would have killed some trying to swim unassisted. Finally, it was also very fortunate to land on a busy ferry route with professional crews. And, as philg said, the airframe exceeded it’s structural design by remaining almost intact despite an impact almost double the design conditions.

I have not seen the movie but it can’t be much better than the report for a tech or aviation enthusiast. Lots of background stuff on FAA , engine design, Airbus and the bird strike problem in general.

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