NTSB Announces Public Hearing on Hudson River Plane Crash

The National Transportation Safety Board will hold a two-day public hearing as part of its ongoing investigation into the ditching of a US Airways Airbus A-320 into the Hudson River in New York City in January.

NTSB said the hearing, which will be held at its Board Room and Conference Center in Washington, D.C., is expected to be scheduled for late spring or early summer; the exact dates will be announced within the next few weeks.

"Based on what we have learned so far about this accident, we know that many things went right," said Mark V. Rosenker, NTSB acting chairman. "But no matter how many things go right, we've found that each accident presents safety issues that we can learn from, both to further our investigation, and ultimately, to make the skies even safer. This hearing will move us closer toward those goals."

At about 3:30 p.m. EST on Jan. 15, 2009, an Airbus A-320 operated as US Airways flight 1549 on a scheduled flight from New York's LaGuardia Airport to Charlotte, N.C., ditched into the Hudson River shortly after the aircraft struck Canada geese, resulting in an immediate loss of thrust in both engines. While there were no fatalities among the 155 passengers and crew, two individuals were seriously injured.

The public hearing will focus on the following issues:

  • Training of crew members on emergency procedures
  • Certification requirements for the Airbus A-320 related to the structural integrity of the airframe during ditching
  • Bird ingestion certification standards for transport-category turbofan engines
  • New and developing technologies for detection of large groups of birds and procedures to avoid conflicts with birds in the general vicinity of airports

NTSB will release a list of those expected to testify closer to the date of the hearing.

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