Fly by Wire: The Geese, the Glide, the Miracle on the Hudson

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Macmillan, Nov 10, 2009 - History - 208 pages
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On January 15, 2009, a US Airways Airbus A320 had just taken off from LaGuardia Airport in New York when a flock of Canada geese collided with it, destroying both of its engines. Over the next three minutes, the plane's pilot, Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger, managed to glide it to a safe landing in the Hudson River. It was an instant media sensation, the "Miracle on the Hudson," and Captain Sully was the hero. But how much of the success of this dramatic landing can actually be credited to the genius of the pilot? To what extent is the "miracle" on the Hudson the result of extraordinary—but not widely known, and in some cases quite controversial—advances in aviation and computer technology over the past twenty years?

In Fly by Wire, one of America's greatest journalists takes us on a strange and unexpected journey into the fascinating world of advanced aviation. From the testing laboratories where engineers struggle to build a jet engine that can systematically resist bird attacks, through the creation of the A320 in France, to the political and social forces that have sought to minimize the impact of the revolutionary fly-by-wire technology, William Langewiesche assembles the untold stories necessary to truly understand the

"miracle" on the Hudson, and makes us question our assumptions about human beings in

modern aviation.

 

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Contents

Map viii
3
The Inquest
5
GEAR
25
The Takeoff
27
The Birds
45
The Collision
67
The Glide
77
FLY BY WIRE
95
The Engineer
97
The Problem
117
The Paradox
139
SURVIVAL
153
The Decision
155
The Flare
169
The Escape
181
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About the author (2009)

William Langewiesche is the author of six previous books: Cutting for Sign, Sahara Unveiled, Inside the Sky, American Ground (North Point Press, 2002), The Outlaw Sea (North Point Press, 2004), and, most recently, The Atomic Bazaar (FSG, 2007). He is the international editor for Vanity Fair.

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