Not to Worry Folks – We’re About to Ditch!

February 13, 2013 by Bruce Landsberg

Seems like ditching in the Hudson River in wintertime has become all the rage. First to the polar bear swim was a US Airways Airbus, flown by Capt. Sullenberger, which suffered a twin engine bird-out.passenger briefing

Recently, GA pilot DeNiece De Priester was flying a new-to-her Cherokee Six down the Hudson corridor when the engine decided to take a powder and—well, there you are. If you’d like to hear her play-by-play, you can see it on AOPA Live. It’s pretty compelling information and her reaction is about to make my next point very clear. Watch the interview below.


A thorough pre-flight safety briefing really is essential. Most of the time it will be irrelevant, and for that once-in-a-lifetime event, we want to make sure it isn’t a last-in-a-lifetime event. Emergencies are funny things—you don’t have them until you’re having them, and they invariably occur at a most inconvenient time. In most cases, there isn’t time for a do-over on the brief.

The Air Safety Institute created a special pre-departure brief seat-pocket card which can be customized to your aircraft. We also created a short video. This was in response to an NTSB recommendation after the Senator Ted Stevens accident in Alaska. A more complete briefing might well have saved several lives. NTSB Board Chair Deborah Hersman was interviewed on AOPA Live last week to discuss the Air Safety Institute’s response.

If you’re a donor, we think you’ll be pleased with the quality of the effort and the NTSB’s response. If you’d like to become a donor, both AOPA Live and Air Safety Institute are funded by your tax-deductible donation. Will you join us? It’s for a very good cause!

Bruce Landsberg
Senior Safety Advisor, Air Safety Institute

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