Skip to main content

Southwest Airlines Community

Miracle or Training? Both!

Not applicable

I woke up early this morning and was drawn back to the TV coverage of the Miracle on the Hudson - the US Airways water landing without pontoons!  Many words have and will be spoken on this amazing incident.  As a Flight Attendant my mind immediately goes to Emergency Procedures in my Flight Manual, training received in class and, most important, the Recurrent Training we all attend once a year.

During Recurrent Training we are shown films of aircraft accidents and Crew responses.  We listen to those who have been there describe their experiences.  We have a mock aircraft trainer to practice evacuation commands, opening exits and strategies for different types of landings and situations.  We operate emergency equipment, hands on.  Where is the equipment located?  Is the emergency planned or unplanned?  We have a 30-second review that we go over in our heads each flight - "Brace position and brace command until aircraft stops; evacuation decision; assigned exit procedures; evacuation commands."  Crew coordination is important.  Each Flight Attendant has specific duties depending on their position on the aircraft while we all know we do what needs to be done at the time.  There is no way to know how each scenario might take place.  We are trained to use common sense.  

During each emergency briefing I am looking to see where non-ambulatory passengers are sitting.  Where are the children traveling alone and other children sitting?  Who might need special help?  Once again it has been proved that training pays off.  

The rush of emotions has hit not only those involved but the rest of us as spectators.  "What would it have been like if we had been on that plane?  What would we have done?"  These US Airways Crew Members performed admirably, and we feel such pride in the outcome.  Let's salute them, the other rescue workers, and all, who day in and day out, work to keep flying safe.    

 

  

12 Comments
Not applicable
Great read, projects the vital role Flight Attendants play in Emergencies
Not applicable
This morning I still almost cannot believe what happened. Indeed, all involved deserve heaps of praise. This incident underscores to me why it is important to pay close attention to the safety demo _every_ _single_ _time_.
Employee
Employee
The passengers on US1549 most definitely had angels watching over them. Dozens of them, in fact--two in the cockpit, three in the cabin, and countless rescuers on the boats. *WELL DONE* to all of them!
Not applicable
What I'd like is for those seat-back charts to be images of real people, not drawings. In a crash, I'd like for all the people around me to have some vague idea of how to remove their seat cushion. (Do you just grab it and it comes out?) ... Is the thinking that if the industry uses real people will be too afraid to fly?
Not applicable
Hats off to this flight crew & all flight crews who work to ensure our safety in the air!
Not applicable
I like to say that it is both training, good weather and luck and who commanded the flight. When I fly I feel as if I am one of the few passengers who actually listen to the safety annoucement.
Not applicable
Enjoyed reading about the flight attendant training and realizing again that flight attendants are trained professionals. Passengers seem to forget this. Thanks for all you do.
New Arrival
Two things got the US Airways flight through their landing, training and prayer.
Not applicable
The pilot got so much praise - and well-deserved; but I'd like for the Flight Attendants to get more recognition. I'm not a Flight Attendant, but I thought about them when I watched the story on TV. That is why the seatbacks & tray tables should be up - so if you have to evacuate like that they aren't in your way. Many people don't pay attention to the safety instructions and don't realize that is what the Flight Attendants are there for. Thanks for all you do Carole!
Not applicable
Funny thing about the recognition of the other employees. I ended up doing a dozen media segments about the crash for some of the major outlets. As much as I tried to mention the first officer and the flight attendants, they were determined to focus on only the captain. There's even a Facebook page up now for him that has over 300,000 friends.
Not applicable
Rob, I also kept wondering if the First Officer was going to be mentioned. I read he was flying the aircraft initially. There must be protocol stating the Captain takes over in case of an emergency, if able. The Captain himself said it was a group effort. I'm sure he would like to share the "glory". Remember Al Haynes who landed the TWA plane in a corn field in Sioux City, Iowa? (Another graduate of Dallas' Woodrow Willson HS.) Who was his First Officer? Thanks DC for mentioning the Flight Attendants. I'm sure they will and have been recognized for their job well done. Carole
Not applicable
Though I just realized, he may not be experienced in flying 737's? Hmm...