Thursday, June 04, 2009

Next week: Public hearing on the US Airways Flight 1549 accident

NTSB logoThe U.S. National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) will hold a three-day public hearing next week on the ditching of a US Airways Airbus A320 aircraft into New York's Hudson River this past January. The three-day hearing will take place at the NTSB's Board Room and Conference Center in Washington, DC.

The subject accident occurred on the afternoon of January 15, 2009, shortly after US Airways Flight 1549 departed New York's La Guardia Airport, bound for Charlotte, NC. During its departure climb, the aircraft suffered multiple bird strikes resulting in a loss of engine thrust. The aircraft subsequently ditched in the Hudson River. All five crew members and 150 passengers survived, however five serious injuries were reported, according the the NTSB.

The NTSB has announced that a public docket will be opened at the start of the hearing. The public may view and download the docket contents on the web under the "FOIA Reading Room" at at that time.

From the NTSB Advisory announcing the hearing:
The information being released is factual in nature and does not provide analysis or the probable cause of the accident. The docket will include investigative group factual reports, interview transcripts, Cockpit Voice Recorder (CVR) transcripts, Flight Data Recorder (FDR) data and other documents from the investigation. In addition, docket items that will be used as exhibits during the public hearing will be available on the website under "Public Hearings"

The hearing, which is part of the Safety Board's efforts to develop all appropriate facts for the investigation, will cover a wide range of safety issues including:
  • Pilot training regarding ditching and forced landings on water.
  • Bird detection and mitigation efforts.
  • Certification standards regarding ditching and forced landings on water for transport-category airplanes.
  • Cabin safety training, emergency procedures and equipment.
  • Certification standards for bird ingestion into transport- category airplane engines.
An agenda is posted on the Board's website at

According to the NTSB, the hearing convene at 9:00 a.m. on Tuesday, June 9, 2009, and is expected to conclude mid-day on Thursday, June 11. Location: the NTSB's Board Room and Conference Center, 429 L'Enfant Plaza, S.W., Washington, D.C.

A live webcast of the proceedings will be available on the Board's website at

Highlights from the hearing will be reported here on Aircrew Buzz next week.

RELATED: Click here to view all posts about US Airways Flt 1549 on Aircrew Buzz.