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Exclusive Flight 1549 Salvage Pictures
May 13, 2009 7:10 PM   Subscribe

"On Jan. 15, 2009, a few Canadian geese with bad timing became snarge, a steely pilot became a hero, and the world became fascinated with images of a jet splashing into the Hudson River and then floating calmly as passengers crowded its wings.

But until now, few people have seen the equally surprising pictures of the second half of this story: when a salvage team used the biggest floating crane on the East Coast to pluck the ill-fated Airbus A320 from the frigid water."
posted by mr_crash_davis mark II: Jazz Odyssey (51 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite

 
Snarge. Lovely.
posted by rokusan at 7:12 PM on May 13, 2009


Eponymous!
posted by pwally at 7:13 PM on May 13, 2009


Those photos are great, but the word "snarge" is even greater.
posted by maudlin at 7:14 PM on May 13, 2009


Doublish
posted by Burhanistan at 7:16 PM on May 13, 2009 [2 favorites]


"ditor's note: Some of these images have been altered by Stephen Mallon to remove the US Airways logo at the company's request."

Eh? Why on earth????
posted by anastasiav at 7:23 PM on May 13, 2009


I'd imagine because US Airways is pretty embarrassed that their plane crashed into a body of water.
posted by pwally at 7:25 PM on May 13, 2009


Editor's note: Some of these images have been altered by Stephen Mallon to remove the US Airways logo at the company's request.

For some reason, this makes me want to photoshop it back on there.
posted by Vectorcon Systems at 7:26 PM on May 13, 2009 [4 favorites]


Exclusive Flight 1549 Salvage Pictures Photo Illustrations
posted by bugmuncher at 7:26 PM on May 13, 2009


I've never seen a real big lift but I've heard a few stories. Very Serious Business, especially once multiple cranes start getting involved.
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 7:40 PM on May 13, 2009


Bird + Plane = Snarge
posted by collywobbles at 7:51 PM on May 13, 2009


Maudlin's link wasn't working, but I had to know, so I googled for snarge...

According to an Associated Press article titled "Air Force Fights Feathered Foes" snarge is defined as a "a term of art that combines snot and garbage".

Grot and flegh both welcome snarge to my lexicon of filthy, filthy words.
posted by Kikkoman at 7:54 PM on May 13, 2009


Giggling inordinately at "snarge." Thank you.
posted by SaharaRose at 7:55 PM on May 13, 2009


did they photoshop the 566 on "the Big Bitch — more formally known as 'Weeks 533"?
posted by kuujjuarapik at 7:55 PM on May 13, 2009


Crap. What happened there?

Snarge. (NY Times link, but no registration required, thanks to the permalink generator.)
posted by maudlin at 7:58 PM on May 13, 2009


In other aviation news, it looks like the crew of that Continental Dash 8 turboprop (the one that crashed in near Buffalo in February) fucked up big time. Even a student pilot knows better than to react to a stall warning (stick shaker) by pulling back on the yoke. Here's the NTSB docket.
posted by exogenous at 8:00 PM on May 13, 2009


Sorry - fixed link for NTSB docket.
posted by exogenous at 8:01 PM on May 13, 2009


Oh, I see...it's that old canard again. A few "Canadian" geese brought down the plane.
posted by Hoopo at 8:08 PM on May 13, 2009 [2 favorites]


Canadian Canada Goose.

I love the last shot, as a big wingless dildo traveling on city streets.
posted by dhartung at 8:39 PM on May 13, 2009


Snarge! I recently posted that as a word of the day on my blog. It's just so fun to say. SNARGE.
posted by queensissy at 9:03 PM on May 13, 2009


I met a safety officer just tonight carrying a little ziploc bag. He told me the bag contained material from a bird strike and that it was called "snarge". Had never heard the word before in my life. Also learned that the person at the Smithsonian who examines the snarge has the last name of "Dove". Interesting.
posted by justlisa at 9:23 PM on May 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


I love the last shot, as a big wingless dildo traveling on city streets.

For a minute there, I thought you were talking about Canada Geese..
posted by Chuckles at 9:44 PM on May 13, 2009


The phrase is "Canada Goose," no matter what.
For the record, my pointing this exact fact out in sixth grade was the source of endless derision from my more brutish classmates. I stand vindicated. Or something.
posted by joe lisboa at 9:48 PM on May 13, 2009


In other aviation news, it looks like the crew of that Continental Dash 8 turboprop (the one that crashed in near Buffalo in February) fucked up big time. Even a student pilot knows better than to react to a stall warning (stick shaker) by pulling back on the yoke.

Student pilot hell, I know from playing MS Flight Sim when I was 12 that if the plane falls out of the sky you need to make it go faster and it goes faster if you point it down...
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 9:52 PM on May 13, 2009


Editor's note: Some of these images have been altered by Stephen Mallon to remove the US Airways logo at the company's request.

Loss of journalistic credibility, much?
posted by l33tpolicywonk at 9:59 PM on May 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


Unless those people are mefites, of course.
posted by delmoi at 10:04 PM on May 13, 2009


Loss of journalistic credibility, much?

Chill out, he could have not shown anyone the pictures, he could have dealt with lawmongering, or he could openly and honestly show everyone the edited pictures.

Such a stupid mindless PR reaction, though. It is embarrassing that U.S. Airways does not have the new magic planes that fly miles and miles after all the engines break at low altitude and that they have a pilot who tells the tower he's going to land the plane in the river and then does it.

Someone get to shopping that logo back on.
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 10:29 PM on May 13, 2009


Loss of journalistic credibility, much?

Corporate lawyers twisted his arm, as explained here:
Although Mallon had been shooting in full view of the investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board, when his photos hit the web, the agency became uncomfortable. They ordered him to remove the gallery he had posted on his personal site.

The bureaucrats relented after about two weeks, allowing Mallon to repost the pictures, minus any shots of the interior of the plane. Shortly after that, a lawyer for US Airways and its insurer A.I.G. told Mallon to remove the photos once again, arguing that the airline and insurer were Mallon's ultimate clients.

Mallon described the reasoning as "US Airways hired AIG who hired the lawyer who hired [lead contractor] J. Supor and Son who hired Weeks Marine who hired me."

However, the two sides ultimately compromised: Mallon agreed to erase any obvious US Airways logos from his photos, and AIG and US Airways permitted the photos back into the world — to Mallon's great relief.
But you can still see the apparently unaltered shots on Mallon's site (unless evil corporate lawyers have since forced him to take them down). For example, the bottom photo at my link above looks the same as the 30th photo here except for the "US AIRWAYS" on the fuselage. And I think that's Trotsky standing next to Stalin.
posted by pracowity at 10:30 PM on May 13, 2009 [3 favorites]


Eh? Why on earth????

Because it not fly anymore.
posted by hal9k at 10:30 PM on May 13, 2009 [7 favorites]


It underwater once.
posted by Burhanistan at 10:31 PM on May 13, 2009


How is airpplane crashed? They need to do way instain airline who shop thier logos.
posted by pracowity at 10:55 PM on May 13, 2009 [2 favorites]


For a minute there, I thought you were talking about Canada Geese..

A minute? Yeah! A-haha! A minute! I didn't spend many more minutes actually looking for pictures of something like that!

a lawyer for US Airways and its insurer A.I.G.

AIG, huh? Motherfuckers are involved in everything that sucks.

By the way It is a US AIRWAYS jet that is shown in these photos, because that US AIRWAYS plane crashed into the Hudson, but the crash of that US AIRWAYS jet didn't kill anyone, thanks to the US AIRWAYS pilots who guided the US AIRWAYS jet safely into the water, and thanks to the emergency crews, who rescued the passengers and US AIRWAYS crew from the wings of the US AIRWAYS jet as it was floating in the water.
posted by dirigibleman at 11:35 PM on May 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


You would think that this would be the one crash an airline would be almost bashfully proud of. Every airline has crashes, and most of them end in screaming and fire and searches for black boxes and charred remains, but only US Airways had Chesley Burnett "Sully" Sullenberger III, official as-seen-on-TV mustachioed pilot-hero, glide 80 tons of powerless airliner to the Hudson and end up with nothing worse than a few cuts and bruises among passengers and crew. I've played badminton games with bloodier outcomes.
posted by pracowity at 12:12 AM on May 14, 2009 [5 favorites]


AIG, huh? Motherfuckers are involved in everything that sucks.

C'mon, they sell insurance. Suck is their business.
posted by ryanrs at 1:24 AM on May 14, 2009


Wasn't AIG one of the companies bailed out by the US tax payers? Ya'll paid for the logo to stay on that shot. ;)

I love this one. It's like they parked the plane and dashed into the city for a slice of pizza. "tIe it up here, we'll be right back":
posted by dabitch at 2:08 AM on May 14, 2009


Even a student pilot knows better than to react to a stall warning (stick shaker) by pulling back on the yoke.

Correct statement, but wrong application. The Dash-8 doesn't have a stick shaker, it has a stick pusher -- if you start to stall, it pushes the stick forward.

The advantage -- properly used, this is *much* more effective at preventing stalls.

This disadvantage -- this is *profoundly* counterintuitive to your average pilot.

The advantage outweighs the disadvantage if, and only if, the pilot has been carefully trained to not play tug-of-war with the yoke. When they have this training, stick pushers work very well. When they don't, the typical response to them is to pull back harder. Which, of course, is exactly wrong.

So. Fundamentally, this is a training issue. The pilots weren't trained to operate the aircraft correctly, to wit, they had not gone through proper stick-pusher training.

To those thinking "that's an bad safety mechanism" -- there are arguments to be made for that. They're profoundly dangerous if the pilot doesn't know about them, or hasn't trained with them.

Arguably, the correct thing for the aircraft to do is ignore the input when it's forcing a stall recovery. Airbus does with their fly-by-wire system -- if you are about to stall, it pitches down and increases power, and you don't get a vote. The problem here is when the system gets confused -- for example, stall with a ground proximity warning firing. The first says "get the nose down." The second says "Gain altitude, now."

It's not an easy problem set.
posted by eriko at 3:20 AM on May 14, 2009 [1 favorite]


Nice pictures. Snarge is not one of your tags?
posted by JohnnyGunn at 3:53 AM on May 14, 2009


The pilots weren't trained to operate the aircraft correctly, to wit, they had not gone through proper stick-pusher training.

There is also the question of why exactly they were flying so goddamn slow in the first place. From what I've read it isn't a matter of ice causing the stall speed to be higher than anticipated, the crew just came in at the wrong speed.
posted by Justinian at 4:44 AM on May 14, 2009


Yeah, these are the same exact photos that we saw in February. I thought Wired was supposed to be on the cutting egde or somesuch.
posted by orme at 4:47 AM on May 14, 2009 [1 favorite]


Canadian Canada Goose.

The phrase is "Canada Goose," no matter what.


Not if these particular gesse had just flown in from their home in Canadia. Of course, in fairness, if they'd flown in from Acadia or Quebec they would have been oies canadiennes regardless of species or how they feel about francophone seperatism.
posted by Pollomacho at 4:48 AM on May 14, 2009 [3 favorites]


I know that on the internet there's always intense discussion about intellectual property rights, or avian nomenclature, or the existence of wingless dildos. And all that is great, and I like it. But ultimately, I just really love cranes.
posted by Shohn at 5:53 AM on May 14, 2009


eriko, not to pick nits, but the NTSB CVR transcript refers to "[sound similar to stick shaker]" in that Dash 8 Q400 of the Buffalo crash. But regardless, yeah, basic airspeed control would have prevented the problem in the first place. FWIW I don't think the plane has autothrottles either, which might have saved the day, thought I wouldn't put it past these pilots to override them while trying to pull their heads out of their asses.

The transcript is pretty damning, with the pilots chit-chatting about their lack of experience while being vectored for the approach at 2300', well beyond when the cockpit should be "sterile" with full focus on flying the motherfucking plane. What a waste.
posted by exogenous at 6:07 AM on May 14, 2009 [1 favorite]


The phrase is "Canada Goose," no matter what.

I've always wondered why Alsatians aren't also called Germany Shepherds then.
posted by TedW at 6:41 AM on May 14, 2009


I think the real story here is that someone taking pictures of a newsworthy item on public streets was browbeaten into photoshopping his art and removing its journalistic credibility by AIG and US Airways. I mean, I like to at least pretend we live in a free country instead of an oligarchy. Oh well, at least he got to release the modified pictures and my objections are somewhat academic.
posted by Antidisestablishmentarianist at 6:57 AM on May 14, 2009


Lovely language mixing on the road signs in the last pictures. Are there a lot of Chinese living in that area?
posted by klue at 7:29 AM on May 14, 2009


I've always wondered why Alsatians aren't also called Germany Shepherds then.

I've always wondered why they aren't French Sheperds. Goddamn Hapsburgs!
posted by Pollomacho at 7:56 AM on May 14, 2009 [1 favorite]


Or French Shepherds even!
posted by Pollomacho at 7:57 AM on May 14, 2009


Oh, I see...it's that old canard again. A few "Canadian" geese brought down the plane.

No you fool! A canard is a duck, not a goose!
posted by workerant at 8:43 AM on May 14, 2009


I once spent an askme wondering why newsreel footage of the Titanic's launch had been altered, so it's not a recent invention.
posted by nomisxid at 8:55 AM on May 14, 2009


Arguably, the correct thing for the aircraft to do is ignore the input when it's forcing a stall recovery. [...] The problem here is when the system gets confused [...]
That immediately made me think of the B-2 crash in Guam last year, though I guess the situation wasn't quite what I remembered.

Regarding the modified photos, I don't see why the photog doesn't simply put a big black square over the logo. Then AIG should be satisfied, and his journalistic integrity remains intact.
posted by hattifattener at 11:18 AM on May 14, 2009


Browbeaten? Public streets? Journalistic integrity?

This is a straightforward application of the U.S. intellectual property doctrine know as "works for hire."

Mallon didn't put down his cocktail and run out to the west side highway to shoot photos of the breaking news. Instead he merely put down his drink, picked up his phone and reached out to a contact, which led to a job by the salvage company, Weeks Marine, to document the recovery.

"US Airways hired AIG who hired the lawyer who hired [lead contractor] J. Supor and Son who hired Weeks Marine who hired me."

I am loathe to defend the likes of US Airways and A.I.G. (hell, why not chuck U.S. intellectual property jurisprudence in the mix, as well), but there is a compelling argument that Mr. Mallon retains precisely zero ownership interest in any of the photographs at issue.
posted by j.effingham.bellweather at 1:24 PM on May 14, 2009


No you fool! A canard is a duck, not a goose!

I thought a canard helps prevent stalls; or is that a different thread?
posted by TedW at 9:07 PM on May 14, 2009


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