I wish I could give you the man himself but he’s under a gag order while the NTSB investigates. Expect him on every talk show in America within a week or so. In the meantime, this — and his new fan page at Facebook — will have to do.
How’d he pull it off? Skill…
Eye-witnesses said the captain pulled the nose of the plane up just as it hit the water, helping to keep the fuselage intact.
Experts said the pilot did ‘absolutely everything right’ with a ‘textbook ditching’.
‘If you know you are facing a ditching, the crash-landing of an aircraft on water, it is crucial that you land the plane absolutely level,’ said David Learmount, operations and safety officer of Flight Global.
‘You must not try to keep the plane airborne and if you land it too slowly you will drop out of the sky,’ he added.
Mr Learmount said that the pilot had to land the plane perfectly straight – otherwise it would have broken up on impact.
…and, via one of our commenters, technology:
The device, called a “ditching switch,” effectively seals the plane by closing valves and ventilation ports, a spokesman for the airline said…
With the valves and ports shut, “a float line” is created, Airbus spokeswoman Mary Anne Greczyn said in an e-mail…
“They’re not amphibious,” Mann said. “But the general rule of thumb is, when they’re full of fuel, which is lighter than water, they will float, as long as their structural integrity is intact.”