Sullenberger and US Airways Flight 1549

Not forgetting First Officer Jeffrey Skiles

There has been much written and published about these two heros who enabled the stricken Airbus A-320 to ditch on the Hudson River with no loss of life.  That was Flight 1549 on the 15th January, 2009.

However, at this year’s Oshkosh, Sullenberger and Skiles were presented with a wonderful memento from Jeppesen who publish among other products instrument approach charts for aircraft.  They did something very creative in producing the following.

Hudson miracle approach chart

Here’s what was said by Jeppesen:

Englewood, Colo. | 27 Aug 2010

Jeppesen, known in the aviation industry as the worldwide leader in navigation and charting services, recently presented “Miracle on the Hudson” pilots captain Chesley Sullenberger and first-officer Jeffrey Skiles with a specially designed approach chart and engraved Jeppesen chart binders to commemorate the remarkable ditching of US Airways flight 1549 in the Hudson River in New York in January 2009.

Entitled “Hudson Miracle APCH,” the one-of-a-kind chart includes several light-hearted notations that honor the famous water landing that saved the lives of 155 passengers and crew on board the flight disabled by bird strikes.  In the “briefing strip” section of the chart, instructions include: “After water landing, oversee evacuation of ALL SOULS from airplane. Float via HUDSON RIVER to RESCUE point. Once everyone is SAFE aboard rescue boats, secure passenger list and double check cabin. Captain is last to exit. Give THANKS.”

The chart documents the historic five minute flight with a unique graphic, beginning with departure from LaGuardia Airport, followed by a “Cooked Goose Transition” point and “Hudson River Approach,” which is then followed by “Splash” and “Rescue” points on the water.  The humorous chart also salutes the career achievements of the crew of flight 1549, including Sullenberger, Skiles, and veteran flight attendants Sheila Dail, Donna Dent and Doreen Welsh.

Along with the commemorative chart, the pilots were presented with a special Jeppesen chart binder, engraved with the famous fortune cookie advice kept in Sullenberger’s flight bag: “A delay is better than a disaster.”  The items were presented by Mark Van Tine, Jeppesen president and CEO, during the 2010 Gathering of Eagles fundraiser dinner and auction held during the EAA AirVenture fly-in and air show in Oshkosh, Wisc.  The EAA Young Eagles event raises funds and awareness for youth involvement in aviation.

To view the commemorative US Airways flight 1549 chart, please visit this page.

A fellow pilot, Martin Thorpe, sent me the chart shortly after the Oshkosh event but it seemed appropriate to let some water flow under the bridge, so to speak, before I mentioned it on Learning from Dogs.

By Paul Handover

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