Archive for the ‘NTSB’ Category

Hudson River Aircraft to Feather Identification Lab

January 25, 2009

Clues from the wreckage from US Airways Flight 1549, which crashed in the Hudson River, are going to the best investigators in the world: the black boxes to the National Transportation Safety Board, the engines to the manufacturer’s experts and a bird feather to a Smithsonian museum.

ByMatthew L. Wald
The New York Times
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The National Museum of Natural History in Washington may not leap to mind when both engines on a high-tech plane quit at 3,200 feet. But around the corner from the stuffed African elephant that greets the visiting hordes of schoolchildren, down a back hall from the employee bike rack, a staff of four in the Feather Identification Lab took in samples from 4,600 bird-plane collisions, or bird strikes, last year. Arriving mostly in sealed plastic bags, these included birds’ feet, whole feathers or tiny bits of down, and pulverized bird guts, known as snarge.

Correctly identifying the species involved in a bird strike can be important, said Carla J. Dove, the lab’s director. “If people know the cause of a problem, they can do something about it,” she said. “If you have cockroaches, you don’t call an ant exterminator.”

 

Above: James Whatton and Marcy Heacker, research assistants; Carla Dove, the director; and Faridah Dahlan, a genetics specialist, all work at the Feather Identification Lab at the National Museum of Natural History.  Photo: Andrew Councill for The New York Times

Read the rest:
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/2
5/science/25birds.html?_r=1&hp

Related:
“Hero of the Hudson” Sullenberger Honored At Home Town
.
Hudson River Miracle: “Find That Bird”
.
 “Miracle on the Hudson” Pilot: Older Pros Sure Worth Having

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Bird Found in Miracle Hudson River Crash-Landing

January 22, 2009

After the miracle landing in the Hudson River, we said “Find that Bird.”  Tonight, the NTSB says they have it!  This is another testiment to the greatness of America, where investigators work for long periods doing detailed crash analysis so we save lives in the future.

The pilot of Flight 1549, Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger and his flight crew were the first heroes of this event.  Now the investigators of the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) are my heroes, along with other experts they use. 

The NTSB says this investigation could take a year.

Samples of the bird material have gone to the Agriculture Department for a complete DNA analysis….

John E. Carey
Wakefield Chapel, Virginia

Related:
Hudson River Miracle: “Find That Bird”
.
 “Miracle on the Hudson” Pilot: Older Pros Sure Worth Having

 
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A police officer (R) and member of the coast guard stand near ... 
A police officer (R) and member of the coast guard stand near the wing of the US Airways airplane which crashed in the Hudson River, where the aircraft is secured and awaiting removal, in New York, January 16, 2009.REUTERS/Chip East (UNITED STATES)

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Investigators said Wednesday they have found the remains of what may be a bird in the engine of the US Airways jet that made a dramatic landing in New York’s Hudson River. The National Transportation Safety Board said an examination of the Airbus 320‘s right engine revealed evidence of “soft body damage” and that “organic material” was found in the engine and on the wings and fuselage.

Samples of the material have gone to the Agriculture Department for a complete DNA analysis, the board said.

By JOAN LOWY, Associated Press Writer

A single feather was found attached to a flap track on the wing and will be examined by experts at the Smithsonian Institution.

The pilot of Flight 1549, Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger, reported a “double bird strike” and a loss of power in both engines before gliding the plane to an emergency river landing last week. All 155 people on board the flight to Charlotte, N.C., survived.

The board also reported Wednesday that….

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/200
90122/ap_on_re_us/plane_splashdown_173

Inspectors examine items removed from US Airways Flight 1549 ... 
Inspectors examine items removed from US Airways Flight 1549 as it sits on a barge at Weeks Marina Tuesday, Jan. 20, 2009, in Jersey City, N.J. The jet was moved Sunday night from the southern tip of Manhattan where it was lifted out of the icy Hudson River. The Airbus A320 crash landed in the Hudson last Thursday after hitting birds and losing thrust in both engines.(AP Photo/Mel Evans)

Plane’s Recorders Support Hero Pilot’s Account; He’s Ready for Inauguration

January 19, 2009

The black boxes recovered from the US Airways jetliner that safely splashed down in the Hudson River last week captured thumping sounds, the sudden loss of engine power and the pilot’s calm mayday request, evidence that seems to back up the crew’s account of hitting a flock of birds shortly after take off.

The pilot, Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger, credited with helping save the lives of all 155 people aboard, reports that the plane has hit birds and lost both engines shortly after investigators heard “the sound of thumps and a rapid decrease in engine sounds,” National Transportation Safety Board member Kitty Higgins said.

By KAREN MATTHEWS, Associated Press Writer

Sullenberger then discussed alternate landings at New Jersey airports before deciding to attempt a river landing, she said. Ninety seconds before ditching the plane, he told passengers to “brace for impact” and informs controllers “they will be in the Hudson River,” Higgins said.

The dispatches on the cockpit voice recorder were described as “a very calm, collected exercise,” Robert Benzon, a veteran safety board investigator, said Sunday.

Said Higgins: “It was very matter of fact.”

In Washington, D.C., safety board spokesman Peter Knudson said preliminary indications from radar data of the plane’s take off Thursday from LaGuardia Airport “did not show any targets” that might be birds. But investigators will keep looking, he said.

“We are going to go and get all the electronic data necessary to get a complete picture of what was on his screen. It’s possible there was more being displayed than we initially understood. We just don’t know definitively at this point — we don’t know exactly what was shown on that radar screen,” Knudson said.

In this image taken from the website of Safety Reliability Methods, ... 
US Airways pilot Chelsey B. Sullenberger III.  He’s headed to Washington DC for Barack Obama’s inauguration….

Sullenberger, who has so far not publicly talked about the crash, has been invited to attend President-elect Barack Obama’s inauguration on Tuesday, according to the mayor of his hometown, Danville, Calif. An Obama aide said Sunday evening the family had been invited, speaking on condition of anonymity because details were still being worked out.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/2009011
9/ap_on_re_us/plane_splashdown

Rescue crews secure the US Airways A320 after it crashed into ...

Related:
Pilot was a ‘hero,’ but are more coming along for airlines to hire?
.
 “Miracle on the Hudson” Pilot: Older Pros Sure Worth Having
.
Hudson River Miracle: “Find That Bird”
.
 Miracle Landing After Both Engines Died Simultaneously — NTSB

A worker looks into the damaged right engine of the US Airways ... 
A worker looks into the damaged right engine of the US Airways Airbus A320 that made an emergency landing Thursday in the Hudson River as the plane sits on a barge after being lifted out of the river in New York, Sunday, Jan. 18, 2009.(AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

Miracle Landing After Both Engines Died Simultaneously — NTSB

January 18, 2009

“Miracles happen because a lot of everyday things happen for years and years and years,” she said. “These people knew what they were supposed to do and they did it and as a result, nobody lost their life.” — Kitty Higgins of the National Transportation Safety Board

By KAREN MATTHEWS, Associated Press Writer

The flight data recorder of the US Airways jet that landed in the Hudson River shows both engines lost power simultaneously, investigators said Sunday.

Information from the flight recorders on the doomed aircraft was released as investigators worked to remove its fuel. After that is completed, officials hope to move the damaged plane off the river by the end of the day.

A worker looks into the damaged right engine of the US Airways ... 
A worker looks into the damaged right engine of the US Airways Airbus A320 that made an emergency landing Thursday in the Hudson River as the plane sits on a barge after being lifted out of the river in New York, Sunday, Jan. 18, 2009.(AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

“Defueling is a pretty intricate operation, not without risk,” Kitty Higgins of the National Transportation Safety Board said at an afternoon briefing on the investigation.

The crippled plane, hoisted from the river late Saturday, remains on top of a barge moored to a seawall in Manhattan a few blocks from the World Trade Center site.

Higgins said the recorders showed that Flight 1549 reached a maximum altitude of 3,200 feet before losing power simultaneously in both engines before its splash-landing Thursday afternoon.

Higgins recounted excerpts from communications captured by the cockpit voice recorder beginning 90 seconds after takeoff, when the captain made a remark to the co-pilot about birds.

One second later, she said, “the sound of thumps and a rapid decrease in engine sounds” could be heard.

“The captain makes a radio call to (Air Traffic Control) calling Mayday, and reports that they hit birds, lost both engines and were returning to LaGuardia” Airport, she said.

Higgins said the accounts on the cockpit voice recorder were consistent with interviews with the flight crew. She also praised the crew.

In this image taken from the website of Safety Reliability Methods, ... 
US Airways pilot Chelsey B. Sullenberger III

“Miracles happen because a lot of everyday things happen for years and years and years,” she said. “These people knew what they were supposed to do and they did it and as a result, nobody lost their life.”

Higgins also said ice floes in the Hudson were hampering the search for the left engine, which separated from the aircraft and sank to the bottom of the river.

“The concern is… even putting down the sonar equipment and the rove vehicle, they would be damaged by the ice. It’s too dangerous for a diver,” she said.

Officials have refused to say where in New Jersey the plane would be taken when it is towed away, saying investigators wanted to do their work undisturbed.

Related:
Pilot was a ‘hero,’ but are more coming along for airlines to hire?
.
 “Miracle on the Hudson” Pilot: Older Pros Sure Worth Having
.
Hudson River Miracle: “Find That Bird”

Rescue crews secure the US Airways A320 after it crashed into ...

Hudson River Miracle: “Find That Bird”

January 17, 2009

It’s a breathtaking story of heroism, terror and prayer.

Or it is the story of a guy doing his job.  And a bunch of passengers scared to death and clinging to life.

It is a story of unexpected, never before seen disaster.

Or it is the story of just another bird meeting just another aircraft in the sky — something that happens thousands of times each year.

We love drama, excitement and life and death challenges — usually if there is a happy ending and we ourselves are never at risk.

I don’t mean to demean for a second the heroics and great work of all the boat and craft crews, rescue swimmers, flight crew, pilot and everyone else  — and I’ll be the first to make popcorn for the “Made for TV Movie.”

But I do find myself cautioning myself: and maybe to honor all that do their jobs day in and day out.  And most never get a medal or keys to the city.

And there is still the NTSB and FAA investigation — a task that goes into every detail which often can mean reconstucting the twisted metal of a crashed aircraft.

We already know the order has been given to “find those engines” at the bottom of the Hudson.

If we get too carried away the made for TV movie will feature a FAA guy shouting, “Find that bird.”

This posted 22 January 2009:
Bird Found in Miracle Hudson River Crash-Landing

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Chesley B. “Sully” Sullenberger III, 57, became the hero of the moment and for me a lesson, and a monument, to life.

See:
“Miracle on the Hudson” Pilot: Older Pros Sure Worth Having

In this image taken from the website of Safety Reliability Methods, ... 
In this image taken from the website of Safety Reliability Methods, Inc., US Airways pilot Chelsey B. Sullenberger III is shown. An official speaking on condition of anonymity because the investigation was still ongoing, identified Sullenberger as the pilot of US Airways Flight 1549, which crash landed in the Hudson River in New York Thursday, Jan. 15, 2009, as Chelsey B. Sullenberger III. (AP Photo/Safety Reliability Methods, Inc.)

A police officer (R) and member of the coast guard stand near ... 
A police officer (R) and member of the coast guard stand near the wing of the US Airways airplane which crashed in the Hudson River, where the aircraft is secured and awaiting removal, in New York, January 16, 2009.REUTERS/Chip East (UNITED STATES)

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Birds a Problem for Aircraft

By James Bernstein
Newsday

Birds and airplanes may both fly, but they do not live in harmony in the skies. The bird strike believed to have been responsible for Thursday’s US Airways emergency landing is rare, aviation experts said. | Video | Photo gallery | Experts: Crashes more survivable recently | Hudson River hero is ex-Air Force pilot | Investigation begins

But when birds — even small birds in flocks — get caught in an aircraft engine, which typically runs at 10,000 revolutions per minute, the result can be disaster.

“The blades of the engines disintegrate into pieces,” said Ross Aimer, a test pilot for Boeing Co., the giant commercial airplane manufacturer.

The pilot knows immediately the plane has been struck by birds. “There’s going to be a loud bang and usually a smell” of burning birds, said Aimer, also a consultant for Aviation Experts, a consultant and media-relations company in San Clemente, Calif.

 
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Experts estimate that about 25,000 Canada geese live in New York City and on Long Island, with about 25,000 more migrating through the area each year. Rob Bennett for The New York Times

Of course, what aviation experts refer to as “bird strikes” do not always cause crashes. But the FAA estimates that in the last two decades, bird strikes have caused more than 200 aviation fatalities worldwide. They generally occur near airports, whose large open spaces provide fowl of all types with places to rest and feed, the experts said.

Big problems for New York

Birds pose a particular problem at Kennedy and LaGuardia airports because they are near marshy areas that are home to thousands of birds, the experts said. And the airports are along the Atlantic Flyway, a migratory route that stretches from Maine to Florida, said Peggy Caraher, publicity chairwoman for the Eastern Long Island Audubon Society, Inc.

“The problem is we’re always building along the shorelines,” Caraher said. “That’s where these birds are. So they relocate to other open spaces.”

The FAA estimates that about 90 percent of all bird strikes are at or close to airports.

At LaGuardia and other airports, maintenance crews go to work at dawn, using noisemakers and flares to scare off birds, the experts said. “They’ve tried everything, from shooting cannons to bringing in birds of prey,” Aimer said.

The thunderous jet engines, though, are usually the best way to get rid of gulls, geese or sparrows.

“The key is to dissuade as many birds as possible from wanting to be in the area,” said Stuart Rossell, U.S. operations manager for Plattsburgh-based Falcon Environmental Services, which does bird control at Kennedy.

“JFK is the leader in proactive bird management,” said Rossell, of Murrieta, Calif. “Hopefully, this will be a wake-up call for the aviation industry.”

Frank Ayers, chairman of the flight training department at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, Fla., said that airplane engines are tested and retested for bird strikes. But, he said, jet engines are unable to survive a hit by large birds such as geese or flocks of birds.

“They can survive a small sparrow,” Ayers said. “But even that will produce some changes in the power output.”

Peter R. Leffe, an aviation accident investigator in Malibu, Calif., said when a bird hits an engine, its blades break into sharp projectiles, which rip into the cowling that covers the engine, usually tearing it apart.

“The blades are about an inch high and an inch square,” Leffe said. “They’re very brittle.”

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From The New York Times

For years, airport officials have removed shrubs and trees that attract birds. They have tried to scare them away with music, pyrotechnics and cannons. They have even raided birds’ nests and culled the adults with shotguns.
Still, birds, often geese, sometimes end up in plane engines, causing inconvenience, or worse: They are a leading suspect in the nearly disastrous ditching of a US Airways jet on Thursday.

“The cause is still under investigation,” said Stephen Sigmund, a spokesman for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. But he said preliminary reports indicated that Flight 1549 was several miles out from La Guardia Airport, at 3,000 to 4,000 feet, when the pilot radioed that there had been a bird strike.

The proximity of the plane to Rikers Island, home to a large colony of noisy, prolific and seemingly indefatigable Canada geese, suggests that the birds could have been involved. “Certainly if they were geese, the birds would have been large enough to do considerable damage,” said Peter Capainolo, a senior scientific assistant at the American Museum of Natural History who has worked with teams that have tried to scare birds away from airport runways.

New York is a high-risk region for bird strikes, with three major airports close to active….

Read the rest:
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/1
7/nyregion/17birds.html