January 17 2009

US Airways Flight 1549 First Minutes Video

us airways flight 1549I knew from the moment this story broke that video would eventually show up of the crash, followed by the first few minutes. As always, YouTube delivers.

In this day and age of camera phones, video survelliance, webcams and every other imaginable way to record a video, it was inevitable that we would see actual footage of US Airways Flight 1549 actually impacting the water.  While watching a plane crash may seem morbid, of course this time it is uplifting and inspiring.  Capt. Chesley Burnett “Sully” Sullenberger III is to be commended for his ability to bring the plane in the way he did despite losing all power.  If not for his skill as a pilot, this could have been a horrendous tragedy, and instead he turned it into a moment of triumph.

My only concern at this point is the amount of praise that is being heaped on Capt. Sullenberger.  I am certainly not saying he isn’t worth the praise, quite the contrary, it just worries me.  In the past, people have not been able to handle the attention they receive after such an event, and I am hopefully that he can.

However, I digress, this is about the video of the actual crash.  Duncan Riley over at The Inquisitr posted it after finding it on YouTube, and it is quite the show.  Shot by a fixed camera on the Hudson run by the U.S. Coast Guard, you can see the actual plane impact at approximately 2:03. By the time the camera zooms at 2:40, you can already see people on the wing, which I was fairly impressed by. The first boat pulls up the plane at 6:03, and I think huge kudos are owed to all of the boats that pulled up to help, and especially the quick response time they made it over there. All told the video is 10 minutes, with no sound, but it is well worth watching to get an accurate view of how things actually went.

Truly amazing, and so thankful that everyone made it out alive.

As a side note, leave it to a journalist to ask one of the stupidest questions I think I have ever heard at a press conference. While watching Mayor Bloomberg’s press conference shortly after the crash, an unidentified reporter asks, “Have they recovered the black box?”. Bloomberg shoots her a look that was tame compared to my deep laughter at the question. The plane is intact, where in the world do you think the black box is stored that it would mysteriously be the only piece of the plane missing?  “You know, in retrospect, perhaps we shouldn’t have installed the black box on the outside of the belly of the plane, Bob.”

For the record, they are stored in the cockpit to the best of my knowledge.  However, in a hectic press conference with people trying to get out all the info they could as quickly as possible, somehow I doubt that would have been my question.

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