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As we all remember, back on Jan. 15, 2009, US Airways Flight 1549 bound for Charlotte, N.C., was forced to make an emergency landing on the Hudson River. About three minutes into the flight, the aircraft encountered a flight of Canada geese, which were sucked into both engines, resulting in a total loss of thrust.
The pilot, Capt. Chesley Sullenberger, was able to glide the plane down and ditch safely on the river near the USS Intrepid museum. Thank God and the flying skills of this pilot that a catastrophe was avoided and all 155 people aboard were saved.
Could it happen again? The answer is yes. If it does, will we be as lucky? The answer is maybe, but I doubt it. I think the odds are against another Miracle on the Hudson.
I live in Whitestone not that far from LaGuardia Airport, where Flight 1549 originated. I often shop at a supermarket in College Point. On the way to that store, I pass Frank Golden Park. One day a few weeks ago, I saw a large group of these same geese on the grass there.
The group numbered at least a hundred. They are large and their numbers seem to be growing. It would only take minutes for them to reach the airport runways.
I love animals as much as anyone. I am not advocating a mass extermination of these birds, but we must find a solution to this problem before another airliner is forced down. There are women and children on board most flights.
Are we willing to risk their lives? If Flight 1549 had crashed into the George Washington Bridge and there had been a tremendous loss of life, would we be more diligent today regarding the numbers of these birds? I think so.
Remember, it only took a small number of these geese to force Flight 1549 down.
It is time for us to find answers.
©2012 Community Newspaper Group
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