January 15th in Aviation History
US Airways Flight 1549:
On the 15th of January, 2009, US Airways Flight 1549 was a domestic scheduled passenger flight from New York’s LaGuardia Airport to Seatte-Tacoma International Airport in Washington. The flight was operated by an Airbus A320. 150 passengers and 5 crew were on board the aircraft that day. After take-off, during the climb stage, US Airways Flight 1549 struck a flock of Canada geese. Many of them were ingested into both the engines of the aircraft. This resulted in a failure of both engines and the aircraft lost all power. The flight crew declared mayday and were given priority runways to Teterboro and LaGuardia airports, but the Captain, Chesley Sullenberger, made his judgment that he was unable to reach any airport. He decided to dump the airplane in the Hudson River. The glide and ditching into the Hudson River happened without a single casualty. Some passengers suffered from minor injuries. All were rescued by nearby boats and rescue services. The incident is famously known as the “Miracle on Hudson”. The flight crew were given several awards for their unique aviation achievement. It is also regarded as aviation history’s most successful ditching.
First Flight of the Airbus A318:
The Airbus A320 family series today is the most successful commercial jet. The A318 is the smallest variant of the type. The A318 and the slightly longer A319 are referred to as “Baby Bus”. It seats about a hundred passenger in a typical configuration. The A318 first flew on the 15th of January, 2002. It was intended to target short haul routes. The A318 is the largest aircraft to be certified for steep approaches into smaller airports such as London City Airport in London. The A318 has an excellent safety record so far with zero accidents. The largest operator of the A318 is Air France. With a common cockpit as all the other A320 series aircraft, pilots do not need extra training and can easily shift to the type without additional costs.
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