• Second Guessing Sully?

After watching the video of US Airways 1549 ditch in the Hudson, and after reading that controllers suggested they go to Teterboro, I wondered what the situation would have looked like to the pilot. So I cranked up Microsoft Flight Simulator X on my iMac (yes, Windows actually runs better on a Mac) to see what would have happened if Sully had gone to KTEB instead.

UPDATE: Also tried returning to KLGA Rwy 13. Added images below.
UPDATE: See info from Airbus pilots before the comments.
UPDATE: See what a goose does to a jet engine
UPDATE: A history of airline ditching with pictures

UPDATE: FAA transcript and audio from the flight are available here.
So I set the sim for January 15th, 2009 at 3:25PM and lined up a 160,000 pound (20,000 under gross wt) A320 on runway 4 at La Guardia.

One minute after takeoff at 3000' I shut down both engines. That's La Guardia under the aircraft in the distance (click images to enlarge).

As I turned west, Teterboro is a small white patch across the river, middle left in the windscreen, above the George Washington Bridge highway.

"We're too low," turning south just north of the GW bridge "We're gonna be in the river"

Seconds before splashdown

Splash, right at the 38th street pier. So the simulator model is accurate and produces the same result.

Here's the profile map

Now let's try for Teterboro and make it as easy as possible—no pax or cargo, minimum fuel, no worries about the steady stream of biz jets and GA traffic that would otherwise defintely be a factor. Same cut at 3000 feet, balloon to 4600' to reach best glide speed of 130 from 250kts climb speed. Over the river headed west, crossing the Hudson, it looks like it might work.

Modified base for Rnwy 24 Teterboro (6000 feet long), still looks do-able.

But after touchdown slightly long thanks to misjudging the tailwind (about 1000') and without reversers, we're off the end. So there may be a way with a light aircraft and better approach. 7000' Rnwy 19 is not an option because of the longer approach, Rnwy 1 worse yet for same reason and it requires an acute turn to final.

Now let's try it at 180,000 pounds, close to gross weight (Vr goes from 131 to 161, and so does best glide speed, I'll wager). Over the river it's not looking good, and the fly-by-wire system won't let me fly slower than 200, which is probably above best glide speed.

Headed straight for the airport, forget runway lineup. We're going to have to put it in the river (not the Hudson). Dumped the flaps and ended up well short (we hit the highway bridge and then went in the drink)

About 2 miles short.

Good call Sully!

Someone asked what woukd happen in the sim if we tried to go back to La Guardia and land on runway 13. Heavy it didn't work in 4 tries. Light (empty), I didn't make it the first time, but it was close. Next time it worked when I turned back almost immediately. Here's what it looked like on approach

And after landing

Here's the map

So once again—Good call Sully!

A new map from FAA with more detailed real life time/altitude/speed info (click to enlarge)
Update #2 from someone who knows a lot more about this than I do:
Reports state geese were flying at 2900'. This would imply that the A320 would have already cleaned up from its original take off flap setting (most likely config 1 which would have a small amount of flap on the trailing edge and a small amount of slat on the leading edge) to a clean configuration and acceleration to 250 kts indicated airspeed, the maximum permitted speed below 10,000' in the US.

The engines would have been in the 'climb gate' which means that the auto thrust system would be engaged with the FMGES (flight management, guidance and envelope system) computers able to automatically set thrust to whatever it requires between idle and approx 90% of the maximum continuous thrust.

The co-pilot was the pilot flying (PF) for this sector with the captain playing the pilot non-flying (PNF) support role (radios, monitoring, system selection, etc). On fly by wire (FBW) Airbuses (Airbii?) the autopilot can be engaged from the later of 100' or 5 seconds after take off but most of us like to play awhile so I don't know if it was engaged or if PF was hand flying at the time.

It would appear that on hitting the birds the power loss on both engines was instantaneous. I would expect that the flight deck would momentarily have gone dark with all the screens blank while the electrical system reconfigured itself onto battery power. During this time a small ram air turbine (RAT) would drop out from the underside of the aircraft with a freewheeling propeller that spins up to 6000ish rpm in the airflow.

Modern Airbus have 3 electrical systems referred to as the Green, Blue and Yellow systems (you can't afford to be colour blind in an Airbus!) with hydraulic dependent systems spread across these 3 providers to allow system redundancy. The engines have pumps attached that normally pressurise the 3 hydraulic systems to 3000 psi however these engines had now stopped so the RAT would supply hydraulic pressure at 2500 psi to the blue hydraulic system only. With only the blue system available the aircraft would have had both elevators but only the left aileron operational (the rudder is electric on the 320 so other redundancy caters for that). The loss of all the engine driven electrical generators would also cause the emergency generator to come on line. This is a small generator that is driven by blue system hydraulic pressure (effectively a windmill in the fluid lines) with enough output to power minimal flight instrumentation, flight control computers, FADEC's (computers governing thrust management), SFCC's (slat/flap control computers), etc, etc. The emergency generator means that the batteries can be saved for any future needs as they are only guaranteed for 30 minutes.

So at this point the aircraft has flight controls and limited electrics. There would then be the most awful buzz of aural warnings and illuminations as the aircraft then reports itself to the pilots as being unfit for use. If the autopilot was engaged it would have dropped out and as the only pilot instrumentation showing would be the captains PFD (primary flight display) and the ISIS (integrated standby instrument system) he would now become the PF while the co-pilot now became the PNF.

In normal circumstances Airbus flight guidance is unlike conventional aircraft as forward and backward movement of the sidestick does not directly control the elevators but does directly control g load demand. Lateral movement of the sidestick does not directly control the ailerons; it sends a request to the flight control computers for a desired roll rate. There are also flight envelope protections in place controlled by the flight control computers that prevent the aircraft exceeding preset pitch and bank angles, min and max speeds, min and max g loadings, etc and when all these are in place the aircraft is referred to as operating in 'Normal Law'. There are another 6 'laws' that the aircraft can fly under (alternate 1, alternate 2, flare, abnormal attitude, mechanical backup) including the reversionary mode the aircraft would have dropped into in this case, 'Direct Law'. In this mode the sidestick movement is effectively directly related to aileron and elevator movement and in effect the aircraft has downgraded itself 3 stages to handle the same as a normal aeroplane. We even have to start trimming!

The aircraft appears to have reached a max alt of 3200' before transitioning to the glide. The Captain is now handflying and will also have taken over the radios while the FO now has the job of dealing with the systems and failures. The Airbus has a system called ECAM (electronic centralised aircraft monitoring) which not only displays normal aircraft system information on 2 screens in front of the pilots in the middle of the panel but also automatically presents checklists and operation procedures during failures scenarios. The upper ECAM screen would be awash with pages and pages of procedures for him to work through however the aircraft
will prioritise the failures and put the engine relight procedures at the top of the list

The ECAM would instruct him to:
1 – Switch on the engine igniters. Jet engines operate with the 'spark plugs' normally switched off as they are a constantly burning fire unlike a piston engine. Relight
will not happen without a spark though.
2 – Return the thrust levers to idle for correct fuel delivery during start sequence.
3 – Request PF to fly at 280kts which is the optimum speed for relight. In light of the low altitude I very much doubt they would have wanted to do this. If they had they would have needed a target pitch attitude of approx 2.5 degrees nose down and assuming a weight of 70 tonnes in still air the glide would have been 2.6nm per 1000'. I suspect the captain would in fact have come back to 'green dot' speed for improved gliding range. Green dot speed is computer generated and displayed as a green dot on the speedtape on the PFD and shows you the exact speed for max lift/drag ratio for that weight in the ambient conditions in the current configuration. I would hazard a guess that on a little Airbus (minibus!?!) this would be just over 200 knots.
4 – Select the emergency generator manually on in case the system has not come on automatically.
5 – Use number 1 VHF or HF radios and Transponder as only those are powered in emergency electrical configuration.
6 – Reset number 1 Flight Augmentation Computer allowing recovery of the electrical rudder trim as the unpowered right aileron would now start to float up hampering control further.
7 – If no engine relight after 30 seconds then engine master switches off for 30 seconds to purge the combustion chambers before restarting the ignition sequence. Below FL200 the APU can be used to assist with engine starting however even if the APU had been running it would not be able to be used within 45 seconds of loss of engine driven generators to prevent interference with emergency generator coupling.

At some point the crew would then have to accept their fate that the engines are unlikely to restart and transfer to the Ditching checklist which is not on ECAM but would have to be accessed from the QRH (quick reference handbook) located to the side of each pilot.
Now the FO had a new list of jobs to perform:
1 – Prepare cabin and cockpit. Ensure cabin crew are notified and doing their thing, secure loose items in the cockpit, prepare survival equipment, tighten harness and select harness lock, etc..
2 – Switch GPWS (ground proximity warning systems) and EGPWS (enhanced GPWS) systems off so that the aircraft does not start shouting 'Too Low Gear' or 'Whoop Whoop Pull Up' at you when you are trying to concentrate on a tidy crash.
3 – Seatbelt signs on. Somehow think this one got into the checklist to appease the lawyers at the subsequent board of enquiry!
4 – Turn off cabin and galley electrical power.
5 – Select landing elevation to zero on pressurisation control panel as this would currently be set to the landing elevation at the planned arrival airfield. If the aircraft
was still pressurised on ditching it might not be possible to open the doors.

The QRH advises the crew to ditch with the gear retracted and the flaps set to the max available setting (normally called Config Full). On the A340 we can achieve Config Full as our RAT supplies the Green hydraulic system. However, looking through the A320 manuals where the RAT supplies the Blue system I can only see a capability to deploy the leading edge slats only. It would be possible to get Config Full by manually switching on the Yellow system electric hydraulic pump to pressurise the Yellow system and then via a PTU (power transfer unit) the Green system would also be powered but this is not SOP so I suspect the aircraft may have ditched with slats deployed and flaps retracted but don't take that as gospel.

At 2000'agl the FO then:
1 - Check that the cabin pressurisation mode selector is in AUTO.
2 – Switch all engine and APU bleed valves off.
3 – Switch on the overhead 'DITCHING' pushbutton. The outflow valve, the emergency ram air inlet, the avionics ventilation inlet and extract valves, the pack flow control valves and the forward cargo outlet isolation valve all close to slow the ingress of water.

1000'agl the FO then:
1 – Makes 'Cabin crew seats for landing' PA.

200'agl the FO then:
1 – Makes 'Brace for impact' PA.

At touchdown the FO then:
1 – Engine master switches off.
2 – APU master switch off.

After ditching:
1 – Notify ATC.
2 – Press all engine and APU fire pushbuttons to arm fire extinguisher squibs and isolate fuel, hydraulic, pneumatic and electrical couplings.
3 – Discharge all engine and APU fire extinguishers.
4 – Initiate evacuation.

I have left out a lot of the explanatory text from the QRH for brevity but you can see that this is an almighty amount of work to achieve in an ultimate pressure scenario. I have not even touched upon the proper evacuation checklist. I have also done Monsieur Airbus an injustice but drastically simplifying my explanations of the key systems in an attempt to make them more understandable but I hope it is of interest to those that made it to the end of the text!
In my company we do practice this event in the simulator for both ditching and crash on land. In fact I last did a 4 engine inop landing in the simulator just 6 months ago having simulated a departure from Tokyo followed by a volcanic ash ingestion at FL250 in the climb leading to 4 engine flame out with unsuccessful relight attempts. We ran the exercise twice and both times managed to successfully glide back to Tokyo with the only damaged being burst main wheels from hammering the brakes. We practice many, many other horrendous scenarios (such as flying the aircraft to successful airport landings with the loss of all power to the flight control surfaces) so you can see that the only subjects that we are not prepared for are the ones we haven't thought of yet.

Hats off to the entire crew for a most amazing job done brilliantly and top marks to Airbus for showing all the doubting Thomas's that they were so very wrong about the strength of the aircraft.

Comments on the above from another Airbus driver:

The Airbus in everyday operation is a wonderful aeroplane and makes the job easy, unfortunately its when things start to go wrong that it makes life difficult for you. What the description of events doesn't really convey is the time frame across which all this happens.

During the climb they would have heard a couple of large bangs as the birds were ingested and a very noticeable drop in engine note. They would have immediately looked at the engine indications on ECAM realising they have lost power from both engines, a second or two later the whole cockpit would have gone dark with some clunking noises, losing all screens and no matter how brief this is, its always scary! A second or two later just the Captain's screens would have come back and simulatneaously the autopilot would drop out with the audible cricket warning (The Airbus philoshopy is if you have a double failure 'you have control', just when you need the extrra capacity you have to fly it too) . ECAM would be going spare 'binging' away in a panic flicking through drills prioritising them, so for a short while you can't do anything as the screen keeps changing. All in a matter of seconds. If they were just over 3000' when this occured they had just over three minutes before splash down. Not long to pull yourself together, realise your not going to make the airfield ahead, decide on the river, remember the appropriate drill in the QRH, get your FO to start carrying them out and configure for a ditching.

Added to this they had a problem with the cabin crew. After any incident the flight deck will give the cabin crew a NITS brief) Nature of the problem, our intentions, the time frame to landing and any special considerations for their duties) The trouble is they had just taken off, as soon as the wheels are up the cabin crew are released for duties and whats the first thing they do? They get on the PA and try to sell you shite you dont want. So our man couldn't contact the crew or the passengers to tell them what is going on. (A good argument I think to reduce the annoying number of unneccessary sales PAs on flights) No doubt a certain amount of his last three minutes were spent trying to break through the sales crap to announce to everyone that they were making a forced landing. While flying the aeroplane and making the Mayday calls (as only his radio worked.)

Apparently the Captains CV is a thing to behold and well worth looking up, if ever there was a suitable man to be flying that plane that day it was him. There is no doubt that they both did an amazing job and I just wonder if it had been Ryan air, with a 2500 hr Captain and a 200 hour Eastern European First Officer would the outcome have been the same? I doubt it.


  1. Nice work!

    One question -- how did you determine the best glide speed for the light A320?

  2. How does the sim fly a turn back to LaGuardia 13?

    This is interesting: http://www.avweb.com/blogs/insider/AvWebInsider_USAirwaysFlight1549_199591-1.html


  3. His nickname is "Sully," not "Scully." And thanks for the pretentious "Windows runs better on a Mac" comment. Nice simulation though.

  4. That was fantastic!! I'm not so good at flight simulator myself though.

  5. Thanks for simulating this. My gut feeling was the same as your outcome; he did the right thing.....

  6. I guestimated best glide speed as 1.3Vso. A coupla test gave me Vso empty at 180,000, and so I used 180 and 220 respectively. A post comment elsewhere by an A320 pilot says 'green dot' speed would be 220 so that matches. The AvWeb link in the commnent above has more detailed profile data and shows they accelerted to about 200kts while climbing to 3200 feet, held that while descending to 2000, and then held about 190 until they flared at 300 feet.

    And my comment about Windows running better on a Mac was a statement of fact, Nathan. I tried and tried to like FSX running on a dual core HP. Despite several format and reinstalls and free replacement by HP , Windows was still a pain in the butt. I used the same install on my iMac using BootCamp and everything works much, much better. It boots quicker, it seldom crashes, and it runs faster. I'm much happier with Windows on my Mac. Windows does run better on a Mac.

  7. Oops, forgot to mention that I tried the return to LGA and made it work under the best possible circumstance, never with a load. Sully done good

  8. Added the images and map of the return to LGA in the post.

  9. Thanks for putting all that work into the analysis!!

  10. Very interesting. I'll have to give it a try on my flight sim. Good work! -Francesca

  11. Not work at all, fun! Just wish I had time to do it more carefully. I may yet take a crack at a screenshot movie. Just for the fun of it.

  12. As a GA pilot (oldster) seeking my CFI I have nothin' but respect for this guy. The most incredible thing here is the ability to make a good decision in a short high pressure time frame. In training for emergencies, there is a period of disbelief in what is happening when the emergency occurs. Then there is about 50 things to do from restart attempt to configuring for what is inevitably going to happen - you will be coming back to earth. Every second counts and as terific as the Sully was I daresay when he speaks there will be plenty of praise for the copilot. On an a320 this accident required alot of teamwork for everything to come out like it did. Thanks to the cabin crew too.

  13. Howard,
    Just a question, how long from eng.shut down to touch down.
    Grate job to a grate crew!
    MR. Sully & crew!!

  14. Looks like no more than 3-4 minutes.

  15. Tom,

    I'm back at the training center (another airline) but hearing conflicting stories up here. One guy heard that the APU was running (Airbus designed the jet to Takeoff with the APU running, but most American users don't). If that was the case, they would have been in Normal law the whole time. (HYD from either the RAT or from engines turning - even if only slowly and Elec from the APU) Another said APU not running but engines were turning enough (he said one at 35% and the other at 15%) to supply HYDs. The RAT was deployed, so they had at least emergency electrical.

    I'm interested in your bud's account above where he postulates they were in Direct Law. I'm pretty sure they were in either Normal or Alternate. AFAIK, the only way to get into direct law is with the gear down, and the gear (undercarriage for non "American" speakers) was definitely up. If he knows something I don't, I'd love to hear it.

    Nice work on the simulations. I have a new crew this week, but if we have time at the end of one of the periods, I just might put them in LGA...


    PS In your first picture above, the co-pilot's PFD and ND are backwards. PFD should be outboard, ND inboard.

  16. Nose: many interesting posts on this ditching at http://www.pprune.org/rumours-news/358238-plane-down-hudson-river-nyc.html. Including those above.

  17. You're a tool. Who the F are you to second guess him? Ass. "So I cranked up my Flight Simulator...." Every professional pilot out here reading this is laughing their ass of at you. Myself included.

  18. Guess you didn't bother to read the post did you? The point was that we shouldn't second guess a pilot in such a circumstance, and I went to some trouble to (unscientifically) show that he made exactly the right decision.

  19. Dear "Anonymous"

    If you really were a professional pilot, you would know that second guessing is what is ALWAYS done in these situations. That is how we learn and add to our experience.

    The fact that everyone lived is testament to some pretty shit-hot work by the cockpit crew. But I have yet to investigate, read about, or take part in any mishap where things could not have been done better. You take them apart, "what if" the shit out of them, and then learn from the goods and the "others." Just because everyone on the Cactus flight was ok doesn't mean mistakes were not made.

    The Captain might have been able to make Teterboro, but decided that the risk to people on the ground was too great. I think that is a sound decision. For Tom to try it again and see if he could have made Teterboro isn't "second guessing" anything - it's just seeing what the other possibilities are.

    BTW, call your mom, tell her she did a poor job teaching you manners.


  20. F/O Skiles flying had I believe 40 hours on the 320..andthe crew is selling you shiiite at above 10k feet ..imbecile..

  21. Anonymous (the one at Feb 1 4:31 am) . . . what >are< you going on about? Skiles joined US Airways (USAir) in 1986 and has a total of 15,643 flight hours.

  22. Charlie, if God was in the jump seat why did He put the birds in front of the plane?

  23. This is what we call running out of altitude, airspeed, and ideas all at the same time.

    I am sure that every airline in the world will be changing their ditching ck list. From what I understand the Airbus has a ditching switch that will close all the holes in the airplane. On the ditching ck list it was on page 3.....didn't get to it. that ck list was designed to run at fl350.
    The crew did a wonderful job. It will be studied for years to come in what to do.

    Retired Airline pilot 27,000hrs+

  24. I always said that had Sully tried for TEB, he would have over-run the runway.

    G200 Pilot

  25. Nice job Tom...you handled the ignorant comments just as well as the sim!

  26. I just remind myself that half the people in the world are dumber than the other half (maybe more), and they can't help that. ;-)

  27. Tom, I'm just a GA pilot but have had 2 single engine dead stick landings. One of them was over a farm grass runway..... no problem, line up the numbers like the instuctor taught me, "get the runway in the sights and keep the main focus on walking away from it". ... The second was over British Columbia. This time I had 2000' of altitude,and no runway --- there was an option of a logging road but that was potentially a death sentence so I took a logged off clearing. (keep in mind, I had a second set of eyes, and had to talk to Control at the same time, telling them where I was and what had happened). We pulled it off with no injuries and sprung gear. ....... now , take it from 2000lbs to 160,000 lbs, over a metropolis, and 155 souls on board ------- these 2 guys did a job that maybe the guy up stairs couldn't have done. Second guessing a choice will take altitude and time off the clock every time ....... Sully and FO rooted out what needed to be done, took a deep breath, FOCUSED, and did what HAD to be done!! Military combat preparation and flight experience at it's very best.

  28. Know the feeling. I lost an engine (swallowed a valve) in a Mooney. But it was right over NAS Norfolk, inbound to Norfolk International. Basically did a 360 overhead and plunked her on. Almost cleaned out the landing gear on the arresting cable, but had enough airspeed to hop over it. A young Seaman Apprentice was assigned to guard the aircraft, and after we covered the windows with silver heat protecting material he asked if it there was secret stuff inside. We assured him, of course, that there most definitely was, and that he should be especially vigilant.

  29. US Airways retired jock sent me a brief release from the company indicating that the #1 was still running but not producing significant power and the crew attempted one relight on #2 without success. The fact that #1 departed the airframe after impact would tend to corroborate that as the rotational stresses experienced ingesting water after the damage from the "birdies" were greater than those on the non rotating engine. If #1 was still working around idle thrust, they would still have some semblance of normal electrics and hydraulics. no?

  30. Disregard my post above . .my memory isn't as good as I would like. The following purports to be from Airbus and may give you additional parameters for your sim runs.




    OUR REF: USA US1549 AIT N°2 DATED 23rd JANUARY 2009
    Previous ref: USA US1549 AIT N°1 DATED 16 JANUARY 2009


    This is an update to the AIT N°1 issued on 16th January 2009.

    The information which follow has been approved for release by the
    US National
    Transport Safety
    Board (NTSB) and represent the highlights from the initial analysis
    of the
    available data: mainly
    Digital Flight Data Recorder, aircraft components, ATC script and

    The A320 aircraft was operating a scheduled flight US1549 from New
    York, La
    Guardia airport to
    Charlotte, Virginia on 15th January 2009, when the aircraft ditched
    on the
    Hudson river shortly
    after take-off at 15:30 local time.

    The aircraft performed a normal flex take-off in slats/flaps
    configuration 2
    from La Guardia airport
    with the co-pilot as Pilot Flying.

    At time T0, soon after the aircraft was in clean configuration at
    an airspeed
    of about 210kts, both
    engines suffered a simultaneous and sudden loss of thrust at about
    pressure altitude. The
    engines N1 decreased abruptly to 35% and 15% on engines 1 & 2
    This sudden and
    simultaneous loss of engine thrust is consistent with the reported
    strike on both engines and
    also with the initial observations from the remaining engine 2.
    (Recovery of
    engine 1 being still in

    The captain took immediately control of the aircraft making smooth
    pitch inputs to
    maintain the airspeed at about 200kts.

    At approximately T0+20 sec, the crew changed the aircraft heading
    towards the
    Hudson river.

    There was no more response from the engine N°2. The engine N°1
    continued to
    deliver a
    minimum thrust (N1 around 35%) for about 2 minutes and 20 seconds
    after T0.

    At approximately T0+2min20sec, the crew attempted at about 500ft/
    200kts a
    quick relight on
    engine 1 without success.

    The crew then selected slat/flap configuration 2 which was achieved.

    From then on and until the ditching, the heading remained almost
    The speed decreased
    from 200kts to 130kts.

    Ditching occurred 3 minutes and 30 seconds after the thrust loss in
    following conditions:
    - Airspeed was about 130kts (at the Gross Weight, Valpha max is
    125kts and
    Valpha prot is
    - Pitch attitude was 10 degrees up and bank attitude was at 0 degree.
    - Flaps and slats were in configuration 2. Landing gear up

    It is to be noted that at all times during the event and up until the
    ditching, the normal electrical
    supply (AC and DC buses) and all three hydraulic systems were fully
    operational and the flight
    control law remained in Normal law.

    In line with ICAO Annex 13 International convention, the US NTSB
    Safety Board) continues the investigation assisted by Accredited
    Representatives from the
    French BEA (Bureau d'Enquêtes et d'Analyses) as State of aircraft
    manufacturer. Airbus
    continues to support the NTSB investigation with advisors on-site
    and in the
    various investigation
    working groups.

    Airbus has no specific recommendations at this stage. Should there
    be the
    need for
    recommendation as a result of the investigation, operators will be

  31. This account far exceeds anything reported on CNN or other news agencies. Then, to follow a sim was awesome!! US Air should name several of its A320 after Capt. Sully and his FO. This sim procedure should be mandatory for all pilots regardless of the aircraft that they fly. I would fly to anyplace with these pilots. Too many pax are just unaware of the specific skills pilots possess and use to get them to a destination... Thanking each of them would be one of the highest compliments to pay for a great or stormy flight. I thank them and each member of every flight crew that I transport to and from MSY.

  32. I am surprised that Sully didn't mention his training and the practice he must have had if ditching in a simulator.

  33. I gather they never practice ditching, although one correspondent—an airline simulator instructor— mentioned he was going give one of his crews a shot at it.

  34. A hell of a job done by the crew!
    And many thanks to AIRBUS for their fantastic flight-envelope-protection-system.

  35. At least you managed to land it the second time there; and at least the flight simulator was accurate...

  36. I'm afraid that you have got several bits of "Airbus knowledge" wrong. And MS flight sim!?!? Hardly realistic!

  37. Well, Anonymous, would you care to enlighten us? I never claimed MS flight sim exactly replicated what they experienced. But is IS very realistic. Apparently you've never experienced it.

    As an ATP, MEI, CFII, Glider CFI and former Navy flyer I flown a lot of aircraft over the last 47 years. Flight Simulator X (aka FSX) is, in fact, amazingly realistic. Performance at given weights, temperatures, and altitudes match perfectly in the well modeled aircraft such as PMDG and Captain Sim.

    In quite a number of aircraft almost every button and switch and circuit breaker does just what it does in real life. And the consequences for not using them correctly are the same.

  38. There's no such thing as FMGES. There's only FMGS.

    A320 driver

  39. Did the co-pilot shutdown the wrong engine? Where is the final NTSB report?

  40. What wrong engine? They both swallowed geese and quit. NTSB report at http://www.ntsb.gov/doclib/reports/2010/aar1003.pdf