If you thought that the pilot who landed US Airways flight 1549 on the Hudson River was cool, you haven't seen this simulation with the real FAA voice recordings. I'm absolutely stunned by his nerves.
The captain of Cactus 1549—the codename for flight 1549—is cooler than Batman, Iron Man, and frikkin Admiral Adama all rolled into one. Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger, 57, is a former US Air Force fighter pilot who left the military in 1980. Couple that with the fact that he is also a safety expert and a glider pilot, and you will understand why his nerves are made of steel.
Jump to minute 1:26, when the birds hit the fans and all the action starts. Then, keep listening until he decices to go down onto the Hudson river rather than going to Teterboro airport's runway one:
AWE1549: Ah this is Cactus 1549 hit birds. We lost thrust in both engines. We're turning back towards Laguardia
L116 (NY departure radar contact): OK, yeah, you need to return to Laguardia. Turn left heading of uh two two zero.
AWE1549: Two two zero.
L116 (to Laguardia tower): Tower stop your departures. We got an emergency returning.
LGA: Who is it?
L116: It's 1529 (sic). He got a bird strike. He lost all engines. He lost the thrust in the engines. He's returning immediately.
LGA: Cactus 1529 which engines???
L116: He lost thrust in both engines, he said.
L116: Cactus 1529 if we can get it to you, do you want to try to land runway one three?
AWE1549: We're unable. We may end up in the Hudson.
L116: Alright Cactus 1549, it's going to be left traffic to runway three one. (First he got the number wrong and now he's not listening. Is this guy this thick?)
L116: OK, what do you need to land? (big iron balls, that's what)
L116: Cactus 1549 runway four is available if you want to make left traffic to runway four.
AWE1549: I'm not sure we can make any runway. What's over to our right? Anything in New Jersey? Maybe Teterboro?
L116: OK, yeah, off to your right side is Teterboro airport.
L116: Do you want to try to go to Teterboro?
L116: Teterboro, uh empire actually, Laguardia departure got an emergency inbound.
TEB: OK, go ahead.
L116: Cactus 1529 (again?) over the George Washington Bridge wants to go to the airport right now.
TEB: He wants to go to our airport. Check. Does he need any assistance?
L116: Ah yes, he was a bird strike. Can I get him in for runway one?
TEB: Runway one, that's good.
L116: Cactus 1549 turn right two eight zero. You can land on runway one at Teterboro.
AWE1549: We can't do it.
L116: OK, which runway would like at Teterboro.
AWE1549: We're gonna be in the Hudson.
(understandable silence from La Guardia)
L116: I'm sorry, say again Cactus.
Click to viewThen listen to another pilot repeating his last transmission, right at the end, half scared half surprised. Seriously, I want to be this guy when I grow up. [Thanks Kat]