Much 'Miracle on the Hudson' Safety Advice Not Carried Out

Many of the recommendations remain unresolved
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Sep 15, 2016 4:24 PM CDT
Much 'Miracle on the Hudson' Safety Advice Not Carried Out
FILE - In this Jan. 15, 2009 file photo, passengers in an inflatable raft move away from an Airbus 320 US Airways aircraft that has gone down in the Hudson River in New York. More than seven years after an airline captain saved 155 lives by ditching his crippled airliner in the Hudson River, now the...   (Bebeto Matthews)

In the seven years since airline captain Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger saved 155 lives by ditching his crippled airliner in the Hudson River, there's been enough time to write a book and make a movie, but apparently not enough to carry out most of the safety recommendations stemming from the accident. Of the 35 recommendations made by the National Transportation Safety Board in response to the incident involving US Airways Flight 1549, only six have been heeded, according to an AP review of board records. "The FAA was very upset back then that we made any recommendations at all," recalled Tom Haueter, who was the NTSB's head of aviation safety at the time. "They thought this was a success story." But to investigators, the event turned up problems. "This could happen again and we want to make sure that if it does, there are some better safety measures in place," Haueter said.

Fourteen of the recommendations issued to the Federal Aviation Administration and its European counterpart, EASA, are marked by the NTSB as "closed-unacceptable," which means that regulators rejected the advice. One has been withdrawn, and the rest remain unresolved. For example: It was sheer chance that the plane, an Airbus A320, was equipped with rafts, life vests and seat cushions that can be used for flotation. The equipment is only required on "extended overwater" flights, and not on Flight 1549's New York to Charlotte, North Carolina, route. The NTSB recommended requiring life vests and flotation cushions on all planes, regardless of the route. But the FAA responded that it was leaving that up to the airlines. Click for much more. (Read more Miracle on the Hudson stories.)

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