Even Capt. “Sully” Sullenberger, hero of “The Miracle on the Hudson,” has his second guessers. The Wall Street Journal reports that deep inside a federal report on Sullenberger’s emergency landing of a US Airways jet on the Hudson River last year are suggestions, based on tests with flight simulators, that Sullenberger could’ve made it back to La Guardia Airport safely. The Airbus A320 lost both engines after sucking in birds at 2,500 feet. Sullenberger was able land his 70-ton glider on the river, and no one was killed. For this he achieved instant fame, appearing on late-night shows, snagging a book deal and serving as grand marshal of this year’s Rose Parade.
But even the Hero of the Hudson has a Monday Morning Quarterback. Pilots on flight simulators were able to return to La Guardia in a number of tests — though those were based on an immediate decision to head for the airport. Even so, the National Transportation Safety Board and outside experts haven’t changed their conclusion that Sullenberger made the right call, The Journal reports. Like the rest of us, they know it’s a heck of a lot easier to clear the Manhattan skyline knowing that if you hit the Empire State Building you get a do-over.