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  • Published: 18 May 2010
  • ISBN: 9780141046747
  • Imprint: Penguin Press
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 208
  • RRP: $19.99

Fly By Wire

The Geese, The Glide, The 'miracle' On The Hudson



Go on an addictive and unexpected journey into the fascinating world of advanced aviation - and find out why the Hudson River plane landing 'miracle' really happened

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 Chelsey "Sully" Sullenberger, managed to glide to a safe landing in the Hudson River. It was an instant media sensation, the "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 last twenty years?


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.

  • Published: 18 May 2010
  • ISBN: 9780141046747
  • Imprint: Penguin Press
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 208
  • RRP: $19.99

About the author

William Langewiesche

William Langewiesche is the author of five previous books, Cutting for Sign, Sahara Unveiled, Inside the Sky, American Ground and, most recently, The Outlaw Sea. He is currently International Correspondent for Vanity Fair, and was for years a national correspondent for Atlantic Monthly.

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Praise for Fly By Wire

A wonderful story expertly told, and the ending is not just happy but uplifting: almost everyone involved comes out of it not just safely but extremely well. Except the geese. Their day totally sucked.

Geoff Dyer, Observer

Enthralling piece of reportage ... concisely written and compelling ... Langewiesche's unblinkered analysis of Sullenberger's five-minute glide into history reveals the more complicated truth behind the creation of a modern hero

Sunday Times

A crisp, meticulously and dramatically told account of the as yet unresolved story of how humans and advanced technology are learning to form a partnership ... [Langewiesche] writes as if his pen has wings, his laptop a pair of General Electric turbofans

Guardian

Langewiesche is at his best ... deconstructing the modern media hero

Financial Times

Brilliant ... Langewiesche explores the approach to this moment, from the flock of Canada geese that wrecked both engines to the expertise of Sullenberger; who used the A320's automated 'fly-by-wire' system to ditch the plane with such success

Independent

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