"Miracle on the Hudson" First Officer shares story in Rockford - WREX.com – Rockford’s News Leader

"Miracle on the Hudson" First Officer shares story in Rockford


ROCKFORD (WREX) -  A man who helped safely land U.S. Airways Flight 1549 in the Hudson River a couple of years ago talks about his experience here in Rockford.

First Officer Jeff Skiles sat alongside Captain Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger on what's been called the "Miracle on the Hudson" flight.  He told workers at Hamilton Sundstrand and some of its suppliers how what they make helped him, Sully and the crew, bring the flight down safely.

It's hard to forget the video, U.S. Airways Flight 1549.  It took off from New York's LaGuardia Airport January 15th, 2009.  Both engines went out after the jet hit a flock of geese.  Captain Chesley Sullenberger and First Officer Jeff Skiles had to land the airliner like a glider in the Hudson.  Amazingly everyone on board survived.  Skiles credits training, teamwork and the reliability of parts on the airbus they flew, for making that happen.  "Its part of what Hamilton Sundstrand produces and what they're doing today it to maintain their high standards of quality for those products."

Hamilton Sundstrand makes Ram Air Turbines or "RATs".  Those serve as back-up generators if an airplane loses all other power sources.  While that system didn't have to be used in the "Miracle" flight, Hamilton Sundstrand's Director of Supply Chain Management Roy Mainelli says it was there just in case.  "We make stuff that flies and you know safety is number one and so it was a great opportunity for our supply base and ourselves to see a user of it."

Skiles says teamwork and emergency response plans already in place are a big part of what made this flight a miracle, instead of a tragedy.  "To see average, you know everyday people involved in such a circumstance I think gives people hope sometimes you know for your own lives that things can work out in even the most dire situations."

Hamilton Sundstrand also makes electrical control components for all the major manufacturers of airline equipment.

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