Miracle on the Hudson and KAL 007
The "Miracle on the Hudson" and KAL 007
On 15 January 2009, US Airways Flight 1549 (an Airbus A320) successfully ditched into the Hudson River between New York City and New Jersey, after reports of multiple bird strikes. The aircraft came down on the Hudson with no engine power and slightly tail down (to prevent immediate sinking by the nose "plowing in"). All of the 155 passengers and crew aboard escaped and were rescued by passenger ferries and day-cruise boats, in spite of freezing temperatures (the ditching occurred near the Circle Line and New York Waterway piers in midtown Manhattan). The survival rate was 100%.
The captain was Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger, 57, a former fighter pilot who had been an airline pilot since leaving the US Air Force in 1980. He is also a safety expert and a glider pilot.
Startlingly successful, the set down brought to the consciousness of all that it is indeed possible for passengers of such an air incident to be brought from open exits and from the inflated ramps onto the wings of a floating plane and there to stand waiting to be brought down to boats for evacuation to the land. This supports the testimony of fishermen off the shores of Moneron Island, as reported to the Israeli Research Centre for Prisons, Psychprisons, and Forced Labor Concentration Camps of the USSR, who had witnessed just such a happening for KAL 007 - people standing on the wings of the floating jumbo jet, some with some sort of hand luggage, being evacuated into waiting boats.
KAL 007 had also been piloted by an expert. A KAL pilot since 1972, a former fighter pilot, just as Capt Sullenberger, with 10,600 hours of flight time with 6,618 hours on the Boeing 747, Captain Chun Byung-in had been nominated as the President of Korea's personal pilot.
National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) Board member Kitty Higgins, the principal spokesperson for the on-scene Flight 1549 investigation, said at a press conference the day after the accident that it "has to go down [as] the most successful ditching in aviation history." This statement is not entirely correct. There has been quite a number of successful intentional water landings of passenger planes, some also resulting in a 100% survival rate, and there has never been a case when there have not been survivors of such a water ditching. Here are the details:
- US Airways Flight 1549, Airbus A320, New York City to Charlotte/Douglas International Airport, 15 January 2009, made a controlled safe water ditching into the Hudson River after losing thrust in both engines due to bird strike at about 3000 feet altitude three minutes into the flight; 155 passengers and crew made an orderly evacuation as a NYC fireboat towed the floating aircraft with passengers standing on the wing, 100% survival rate
- Tuninter Air, Flt. 1153, August 6, 2005, of the coast of Sicily, 39 occupants, 23 survivors, 59% survival rate
- Miami Air Lease Convair CV-340, December 4, 2004, Mall lake, Florida, 2 occupants, 2 survivors, 100% survival rate
- Ethiopian Air Lines 767, November 23, 1996, off the Comoros Islands, 175 occupants, 45 survivors, 26% survival rate (video of water ditching )
- Though not a passenger plane, still relevant - Columbian AF C 130 Hercules, October 1982, en route between the Azores and Bermuda stayed afloat for 2 days!
- ALM DC9, May 2, 1970, the Caribbean, 63 occupants, 40 survivors, 63% survival rate
- Aeroflot Tupolev 124, October, 1963, Neva river, 52 occupants, 52 survivors, 100% survival rate
- Flying Tiger's Super H Constellation passenger aircraft with a crew of 8 and 68 U.S. military (paratrooper) passengers. Sept. 28, 1962. Aircraft ditched in the North Atlantic about 500 miles west of Shannon, Ireland, after losing three engines on a flight to Frankfurt, Germany. Forty-five of the passengers and 3 crew were rescued, with 23 passengers and 5 crew members being lost in the storm-swept seas. All passengers successfully evacuated the airplane. Those who were lost succumbed in the rough seas. 100% survival rate for landing and evacuation.
- Pan Am Flt. 6 Stratocruiser "Sovereign of the Skies", October 16, 1956, in the Pacific between Honolulu and San Francisco, 30 passengers and crew, 30 survivors, 100% survival rate (Coast Guard photos of water ditching ), (Coast Guard movie of actual rescue )
- Northwest Orient Airlines Flt. 2, Boeing Stratocruiser, April 2, 1956, ditched in 430 feet Puget Sound, 38 passengers, all survived the ditching but 4 could not recover the freezing waters, 87% survival rate
The KAL 007 Reports
Based on reports that had come to the Israeli Research Centre for Prisons, Psychprisons, and Forced Labor Concentration Camps of the USSR, we believe that the passengers and crew, with their luggage, were boarded onto Soviet boats and ships and abducted. We believe these boats and ships to be both the coastal patrol boats under command of KGB General Romanenko and the civilian trawlers ordered to the rescue by Deputy Commander of the Far East Military District, General Strogov at 6:54 - just 16 minutes after KAL007 had descended to 1,000 feet, the altitude under which Soviet radar could not track. (See ). We believe, in accordance with the statement to Izvestia by Commander of the Soviet Pacific Fleet, Admiral Vladimir Vasilyevich Siderov, that "small boats" had already arrived at the site 27 minutes after KAL's set down ("crash", according to the Admiral - who also maintains that there were no bodies in the water). Furthermore, according to reports to Izvestia by amazed Soviet divers who had visited KAL 007 underwater just 2 weeks after the downing, no bodies were found on board or anywhere else (See ). And according to the official Soviet claims, there were no bodies found on the surface of the water at "impact" site (though the Soviets did return 213 fished out footwear - representing 74% of the 269 occupants of KAL 007). (See ) If, contrary to our belief, the passengers and crew of KAL 007 had not been rescued and abducted, and if, as in fact, there were no bodies found on top of the surface of the sea or found under the surface of the sea within KAL 007's wreckage, then there should have been live people, if not in KAL 007's own life rafts, then floating in the waters off Moneron Island until the arrival of the Soviet "small boats" - within one half hour. This is supported by the following survival manual survival rates for persons able to swim or who are wearing life jackets or who have use of some floating support, in waters of 50 degrees - the temperature of the waters off Moneron Island that morning:
Up to 50 minutes - Practically 100% survival Up to 3 1/2 hours - 50% survival Past 3 1/2 hours - Acceleratingly, down to 0% survival (figures are survival manual figures referred to in the Republican Staff Study)
But there were no people, living or dead found on or under the waters. Where, then, are our people?