There’s not much I can add to everything that’s been reported about the incredible water landing outside my apartment yesterday, but Salon’s Ask The Pilot did a piece about water landings a few years ago, and I think it bears a quick read this morning. In short: yesterday’s incident was not the first water landing where people have survived. Ask the Pilot mentions 2 with many survivors (from 1963 and 1970). An incredible crash in 1996 in water off the Comoros Islands had several survivors who had put on their life vests. Plus, a US Airways plane went off the runway and into the water at LaGuardia (coincidentally enough it was also going to Charlotte) and many people survived that icy plunge.
Key takeaway? Put down the SkyMall and listen to that safety briefing.