Hudson Collision

14 Aug 09 2 Comments

No details from the NTSB yet but here is the media information available at the moment.

9 Dead After Copter and Plane Collide Over Hudson – NYTimes.com

The cause of the accident was under investigation. But what perhaps thousands of people out on a crystalline summer day saw from both sides of the Hudson was a stunning, low-altitude accident in which the plane rolled up and into the helicopter, striking with a crack like thunder as the helicopter’s blades and one of the plane’s wings flew off, and then both aircraft fell and vanished into the river.

Fatal midair crash over Hudson raises questions – USATODAY.com

At an afternoon briefing Monday, Hersman said an eight-day NTSB survey of the river corridor before the collision had counted about 225 aircraft flying within a 3-mile radius of the collision site each day.

The airspace where many of these tour craft fly is below 1,100 feet, where pilots are largely free to choose their own routes, radioing their positions periodically but not communicating regularly with air traffic controllers.

Hersman said air traffic controllers at Teterboro (New Jersey) Airport told the pilot of the small plane to switch radio frequencies so controllers at Newark (New Jersey) Airport could communicate with him. She said Newark controllers never made contact with the pilot before the crash.

Hudson Crash Bares Friction Between Safety Board and F.A.A. – NYTimes.com

She said the agency was considering an immediate reaction to the Hudson crash: making it mandatory for pilots in the uncontrolled air corridor to announce their location and intentions on a common radio frequency whose use is now voluntary.

“We welcome their taking some action, but we certainly don’t feel it goes far enough, said Robert M. Gottheim, district manager for Congressman Jerrold L. Nadler, a Democrat who represents the West Side of Manhattan.

Pilots caution against tighter rules in wake of tragedy – The Connecticut Post Online

“We would not support closing the corridor because there are less onerous ways to address safety concerns,” Chris Dancy said.

Dancy speaks for the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, an industry group that represents the general aviation industry. General aviation refers to private pilots.

Among those measures could be to separate helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft, Dancy said. But the AOPA will wait until the National Transportation Safety Board completes its work and will then analyze its report.

“In this particular case what needs to be done is to give the NTSB the time to investigate,” Dancy said. “Then we as an organization are ready to look at all the alternatives to improve safety.”

The Associated Press: Plane pilot in Hudson collision had clean record

Altman had a clean record and was instrument-rated, meaning he was trained to fly in poor weather if necessary, according to the Federal Aviation Administration. His medical clearance was up to date, the only restriction being he needed glasses for nearsightedness.

“He was perfectly legal and qualified to fly that aircraft,” FAA spokesman Jim Peters said Monday.

FAA suspends 2 air traffic controllers over Hudson crash – CNN.com

A source with knowledge of the investigation said the controller was on the phone with his girlfriend “after he cleared the pilot for takeoff; he was still on the phone at the time of the crash.”

In addition, “the supervisor was not present in the building as required,” Brown said.

“While we have no reason to believe at this time that these actions contributed to the accident, this kind of conduct is unacceptable, and we have placed the employees on administrative leave and have begun disciplinary proceedings,” she said.

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2 Comments

  • Well, it sure looks like the Piper pilot saw the chopper at the last second and tried to make an evasive maneuver.
    The controller had nothing to do with this crash. While he shouldn’t have been on the phone with his girlfriend at the time, he could have easily been on the phone with another controller or just watching his radar screen at the same time with th exact same outcome. That corridor is see-and-avoid, and the pilots of those aircraft didn’t. The controller may have parked his car in a handicap parking space that day also, and while not allowed, that didn’t cause the crash either.
    The fact that thousands of aircraft use this corridor, and the accidents are very rare demonstrates that drastic and immediate action by politicians is unnecessary. It’s also annoying to see the knee-jerk quick-fixes that try to get thrown at these things that don’t make a difference – or make it worse. (require filing a flight plan, separate airplanes and helicopters by time of day, close the corridor, etc.)
    Cars crash into each other on perfectly fine roads every day, through no fault of anyone but the drivers involved. Same deal here.
    Turn your lights on, stay to the right, and keep looking outside!!!

  • The video is interesting. One comment was that the pilot seemed to have his head in the cockpit (messing with the radio?) until the last minute.

    I made a point of including the FAA quote confirming that the controllers did not contribute to the accident as the headline has been generating a lot of excitement. I didn’t see that omitting the news was a better option, tbh.

    AOPA have made it clear that they will argue vehemently against closing the corridor. I guess until the NTSB finish their investigation we’re all in a holding pattern…

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