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ATC recordings of US Airways 1549 “bird strike” flight

It was a routine afternoon on January 15th, New York TRACON La Guardia departure (L116) was handling outbound flights, including the US Airways Flight 1549, known by its radio call sign as Cactus 1549 (an America West flight).

The routine was rudely interrupted at 15:27:36 EST (20:27:36 UTC) by a terse transmission :

“Ah this is uh Cactus fifteen thirty nine, hit birds we lost thrust in both engines we’re turning back towards La Guardia.”

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has released a recording and transcript of the period seven minutes before the bird strikes for 20 minutes, and includes all the conversation from the TRACON, the various airports, and the flights in the airspace including the US Airways flight.

I am impressed by the calm in cockpit expressed by the short terse transmissions of Captain Chesley B. “Sully” Sullenberger III. He is fighting the ultimate emergency and still communicated his situation. Equally impressive is the complete understanding of the Air Traffic Controller, and the way he anticipates and reacts to the needs of Captain Sullenberger.

Thanks to Terry Maxon for breaking the story.

About Devesh Agarwal

A electronics and automotive product management, marketing and branding expert, he was awarded a silver medal at the Lockheed Martin innovation competition 2010. He is ranked 6th on Mashable's list of aviation pros on Twitter and in addition to Bangalore Aviation, he has contributed to leading publications like Aviation Week, Conde Nast Traveller India, The Economic Times, and The Mint (a Wall Street Journal content partner). He remains a frequent flier and shares the good, the bad, and the ugly about the Indian aviation industry without fear or favour.

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