Sign in to follow this  
Overload

Sully - Did the FAA really give him a hard time?

Recommended Posts

The film's just been released here in the UK. Reading the reviews, much of it relates to his encounters with the FAA, about whether he chose the best course of action. Is that true, or just a dramatic device to ramp up the tension?

Eugene

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Help AVSIM continue to serve you!
Please donate today!

The film's just been released here in the UK. Reading the reviews, much of it relates to his encounters with the FAA, about whether he chose the best course of action. Is that true, or just a dramatic device to ramp up the tension?

Eugene

I don't think it was the FAA per se, was it?  I can't remember now.  But, basically, it all came down to a legal thing of who should pay for the damage to the airplane.  If it was determined that he made the wrong choice and could have made it back to LGA, he would have been at fault.  Absolutely terrible, in my opinion, that someone can be in a position like this and then have to even remotely worry that he may be liable in some way for making a decision.  I could see if he had intent to do damage to the plane/pax, but not when he was doing the best he could in an extreme circumstance to save the lives of his passengers and crew, and any potential people on the ground.

  • Upvote 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've read statements/reports (1, 2) that the NTSB was a bit perturbed at how they were portrayed in the movie.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The film's just been released here in the UK. Reading the reviews, much of it relates to his encounters with the FAA, about whether he chose the best course of action. Is that true, or just a dramatic device to ramp up the tension?

Eugene

 

The NTSB did their jobs, which is to ask difficult questions pertaining to any crash; obviously, the movie overdramatized those probing questions to create drama.  You can read the NTSB final report, or better yet, watch the hearing and derive your own conclusions.  From my perspective, the NTSB acted appropriately...

 

 

 

http://www.ntsb.gov/investigations/accidentreports/pages/AAR1003.aspx

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Regardless, it was a great movie and is responsible for me returning to flight simming.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I can tell you from experience that Deborah Hersman is a tough lady, almost a little "too" aggressive. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The movie is excellent in many respects but the portrayal of the NTSB (not the FAA) was ridiculous.  Read the report.  The multiple simulator runs were done as a standard part of the investigation, with the cooperation of US Air, Airbus and the pilots' union, all of whom were parties to the investigation.  There wasn't a kangaroo court where an unfairly-accused Sully stood up and insisted on them.  The results of the runs were that even without the 35-second delay, just over half the crews (53 percent) were able to make the runway safely.  The additional run with the 35-second delay was added by the investigators themselves - and it failed to achieve a safe landing.  The simulator runs, like everything else in the investigation, were just a matter of the investigators doing their job - due diligence in order to rule out possible causes.  Eastwood is a fine director and I've enjoyed a lot of his work.  But he's also a hardcore small-government advocate, and that's what played out here - a sort of political theme about a strong lone American hero dragged down by petty, vindictive bureaucrats.  It does a massive disservice to an agency that actually functions well and does its job protecting the pubic.  I'm disappointed that Sullenberger, who claims to be a safety advocate, went along with a storyline that undermines a safety-oriented organization.  

  • Upvote 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This video gives a better impression of the tone of the investigation

 

 

 

Clint Eastwood was not wrong in the tone of the NTSB/FAA investigation. They seem to be pedantic in their investigation.. nickle and dimeing every second.

 

 

So the movie seemed to be right in its tone,.. not exaggerated. 

  • Upvote 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This video gives a better impression of the tone of the investigation

 

 

 

Clint Eastwood was not wrong in the tone of the NTSB/FAA investigation. They seem to be pedantic in their investigation.. nickle and dimeing every second.

 

 

So the movie seemed to be right in its tone,.. not exaggerated. 

 

Sully was considered a hero by the american public by the time he had his interview. They treated him with kid gloves. It is their job to ask questions and cover every potential factor. Sully may have felt like he was being grilled, but anyone who is questioned is going to feel somewhat defensive. Even Eastwood said he needed a villain for the movie, so he made them into one. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

They treated him with kid gloves

 

Did you watch the actual video of what was discussed that I posted.. It is 4 hrs of video.. I just posted this 10 minutes ago. You obviously have not seen the pontificattion of the  those people. I watched the entire video and I say that Clint Eastwood was  not far from the truth. these people were not writing an investigative report.. they were pontificating from their high horse... They sound dumb and full of it! The way they  were portrayed in the movie

 

To the original Poster.. if you have the patience, watch the 4 hr video I posted.. and you would realize the movie was NOT  far from the truth. Including the full of it woman. Deborah Hersman (Name changed in the movie  to protect the guilty)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

they were pontificating from their high horse

 

Manny,

 

I've seen the video before and read the report.  It was what I would have expected from the NTSB, very professional and very thorough. 

 

The NTSB aviation accident investigators are some of the most talented and professional folks in the world.  There knowledge of aviation safety is second to none. 

 

To answer the original question posted for this thread, the flight crew was treated with the utmost courtesy and respect. 

 

blaustern

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Did you watch the actual video of what was discussed that I posted.. It is 4 hrs of video.. I just posted this 10 minutes ago. You obviously have not seen the pontificattion of the  those people. I watched the entire video and I say that Clint Eastwood was  not far from the truth. these people were not writing an investigative report.. they were pontificating from their high horse... They sound dumb and full of it! The way they  were portrayed in the movie

 

To the original Poster.. if you have the patience, watch the 4 hr video I posted.. and you would realize the movie was NOT  far from the truth. Including the full of it woman. Deborah Hersman (Name changed in the movie  to protect the guilty)

 

I watched bits and parts of the video. I'm not sure what you are talking about. Their jobs is to discuss every aspect of what happened and see if there are any recommendations for changes in training/rules etc. My comments related to the interviews of Sully which were not as reflected in the film. 

 

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2016/09/18/the-unsung-hero-left-out-of-sully.html

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@Manny - with respect, I'm not sure you're completely getting how an investigation works.  The point of the investigation isn't to celebrate heroic pilots or anyone else - it's to wring out every possible factor in the incident to see if there are changes that ought to be made in order to improve safety.  In this case there were several - for example, the board concluded that the ditching checklist was too long to be useful at low altitude - the crew couldn't get through it. They recommended that the checklists be shortened.  There were several recommendations along those lines.  It's in exactly the same spirit as the two columns in Flying magazine - I Learned About Flying From That, and Aftermath.  They're doing what any responsible pilot would do - looking for lessons as a way of getting better.

 

There have been cases in the past where pilots were celebrated, and later problems were found.  TWA 843 was a case in point - the early media coverage focused on the pilots' heroism, but the investigation found serious problems in crew coordination.  

 

There have also been cases where pilots were initially blamed unfairly - the 737 rudder hard-over incidents come to mind.  But in that case, the main driver of the blame-the-pilots approach was Boeing, which didn't want to be on the hook for liability.  The problem did in the end turn out to be mechanical.

 

Also - are you aware that the people being questioned in the video aren't the flight crew?  In fact, they're the investigators.  That's the format - the field investigators present to the board, which then signs off on the conclusions.

 

If you can point me to the moment in the video when beleaguered Captain Sullenberg forces the board to run an additional simulation with a 35-second delay, which they wouldn't otherwise have thought of doing, then we can talk about how similar the film is to real life.

  • Upvote 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sully was considered a hero by the american public by the time he had his interview. They treated him with kid gloves. It is their job to ask questions and cover every potential factor. Sully may have felt like he was being grilled, but anyone who is questioned is going to feel somewhat defensive. Even Eastwood said he needed a villain for the movie, so he made them into one. 

 

Of course he was grilled, that's the investigation board's job. But they were not out to, as the movie suggests, make a scapegoat out of him for losing the aircraft. They were not doing everything in their power and then some to pin the accident on "pilot error".

That pilot error was considered, and investigated, as a possible cause was normal, it's always an option and always has to be taken seriously. 

But they found, and admitted, that it was not the case, that in fact the crew had acted admirably and made the best of a very bad situation.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this