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Ditched flight leads to safety proposals

May 5, 2010 at 3:36 PM

WASHINGTON, May 5 (UPI) -- The crash of a US Airways flight in New York's Hudson River has resulted in 33 recommendations for safety improvements, federal officials said.

The National Transportation Safety Board Tuesday released the recommendations after reviewing the Jan. 15, 2009, crash of Flight 1549, survived by all 155 people aboard.

The board praised the flight skills of Capt. Chesley Sullenberger III and the first officer, Jeffrey Skiles, and said it was "possible but unlikely" that the pilots could have set the Airbus down as the manufacturer had assumed.

Safety inspectors said they had never tested Airbus's assumption that a pilot could bring an A320 down at a rate of about 3 1/2 feet per second. Flight 1459 came down at about 13 feet per second, causing hull damage that resulted in the plane's taking on water, The New York Times reported Wednesday.

The board called for cockpit instruments that would give more detailed information to pilots on the condition of their engines and new checklists based on low-altitude engine failure.

Airbus officials called the recommendations reasonable and said they already were working on better checklists and a change in the design of a floor beam, as suggested by the board.

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