Miracle on the Hudson's 10th Anniversary

On January 15, 2009, the world watched as two highly trained and experienced pilots landed US Airways Flight 1549 in the middle of New York City’s Hudson River. Within minutes of losing power in both engines, the five crewmembers onboard, along with the assistance of dozens of first responders in the NYC area, made a rare unpowered ditching into the icy river and successfully evacuated all 150 passengers. ALPA remains extremely grateful for the extraordinary professionalism demonstrated that day and, once again, congratulates the crew for their heroic efforts.  

While Capt. Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger and First Officer Jeff Skiles became the face of the critical role pilot training and experience has on a daily basis, it took a team of aviation safety professionals working together to ensure that not a single soul was lost. In addition to the crewmembers onboard the aircraft, there were also two air traffic controllers working with the flight crew on handling the emergency landing. That day, Patrick Harten and Bill McLoughlin demonstrated how closely air traffic controllers and pilots work together. 

Today, as the U.S. government continues to limp along during a partial shutdown, air traffic controllers are reporting to work all across the country without a paycheck. The lack of compensation for the critical role they have in our nation’s aviation safety is one tangible consequence that this political shutdown has on hardworking Americans. 

On Friday, at Washington Reagan National Airport, ALPA president Capt. Joe DePete was on hand to offer lunch to air traffic controllers and safety specialists who received their first $0.00 “paycheck,” despite still performing their essential duties. 

“These folks literally ‘shepherd us into the sky,’ and they do an outstanding job keeping us safe and secure in the air,” DePete remarked. “The least we can do is provide this token of our gratitude for staying on the job despite the situation.” 

ALPA is proud to stand in solidarity with our brothers and sisters in labor today to urge Congress and the president to end this harmful shutdown.


Tags: ;


Subscribe to Leadership From the Cockpit via Email