Hudson hero Sully regrets having not warned passengers about river landing

June 10th, 2009 - 2:09 pm ICT by ANI  

Washington, June 10 (ANI): Hero pilot Chesley (Sully) Sullenberger told federal officers that the next time he faces any situation like emergency landing in the Hudson River, he’d make sure to tell everybody that they were going to hit water.

Sullenberger glided into aviation history on January 15 with a flawless emergency landing in the Hudson River after geese disabled his jet’s engines shortly after takeoff from LaGuardia Airport.

“If it happened again, I’d make sure to tell everybody that they were going to hit water. I wish I had had more time,” the Daily News quoted him, as saying.

The only warning Sully managed to give the 150 passengers and three flight attendants he was putting down in the Hudson was: “This is the captain - brace for impact.”"We did the best we could,” Sullenberger said. “I wish I could’ve told them it was a water landing. It was a balancing act.”

Testifying before the Board of Inquiry from the National Transportation Safety Board, Hudson Hero Sully said he encountered a threat from nature that defied his more than 20,000 hours in the cockpit on January 15.

“If you think I wasn’t startled, you misunderstand. There were many birds; they were very large and they filled the entire wind-screen,” he recalled.

At least two birds destroyed the left engine of the Airbus A320, and a third kayoed the right.

Flight controllers cleared the way for an emergency landing at either LaGuardia or Teterboro airports in New Jersey, but Sullenberger declined.

“I couldn’t afford to be wrong,” Sullenberger said. “The only thing long enough, wide enough and smooth enough to land was the river.”

Sullenberger said regulators have to come up with better ways of scaring off the birds and alerting air crews. (ANI)

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