Marc's Reviews > Fly by Wire: The Geese, the Glide, the Miracle on the Hudson

Fly by Wire by William Langewiesche
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's review
Jan 14, 2010

really liked it
bookshelves: non-fiction
Read in January, 2010

From leaving the gate to the last person being taken safely aboard a ferry U.S. Airways flight 1549 lasted just under an hour. The author weaves this into a fascinating 193 page story by including background information on what the crew did in the days leading up to this flight, the NTSB hearings about it, the geese and how they came to be flying in the area, how modern jet engines function, and extensive information about the history and background to the fly-by-wire system used on the Airbus A320.

I learned a lot about the fly by wire system though came away with the conclusion that its role was negligible for flight 1549.

There was one minor disappointment in that the author did not address if the failure to activate the ditch switch was a factor. This was an item I’d been personally curious about.

I would have given this five stars except for one thing. The author seems to have a fascination with a four-letter word that starts with F. He used it at least a dozen times in the book even though it was never used by the crew of flight 1549. The strongest word used on the flight was “Oh ####!” by co-pilot Skiles immediately after hitting the birds with captain Sullenberger rejoining with “Oh yeah.” Why did the author need to inject f-ing this, f-ing that throughout the book?

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