Skip to comments.Co-pilot Braved Frigid Waters to Retrieve Vests for Passengers (Our Hometown Boy Did Good!)
Posted on 01/16/2009 4:51:37 PM PST by Diana in Wisconsin
Oregon, WI - The water in the Hudson River was so cold Thursday afternoon that US Airways co-pilot Jeffrey Skiles' legs were immediately numb, his wife said today.
Barbara Skiles said her husband, 49, was walking through the plane to find more life vests for people who had exited without them. The quick response from New York City's police and fire departments, as well as ferries and other boats that helped bring passengers to safety, was a key reason no one was injured or killed, she said.
All 155 passengers on the US Airways flight were rescued and brought to safety after the plane hit a flock of birds following takeoff from New York's LaGuardia Airport, lost power to both engines and had to land in the Hudson River.
"He did say that it was amazing the help that they got; how quickly boats were at the side of the airplane," she said.
Barbara Skiles said her husband lost his cell phone in the incident but used a borrowed phone to call her with news about the accident.
"'We had to ditch the plane in the Hudson, I want you to know I'm OK and I think we got everybody off OK,'" she said he told her. She said she's spoken with him a couple more times from his hotel room, but isn't sure when he'll be home.
"I think it's still sinking in," she said of how he's feeling. "He just really doesn't know how things are going to happen from here."
Jeffrey Skiles got his private pilot's license when he was a teenager and has been flying professionally since his early 20s, spending the past 23 years flying for US Airways, Barbara Skiles said.
Barbara Skiles and the couple's three children, ages 17, 15 and 12, spent Thursday evening watching TV coverage for more news about the incident, and were hoping media attention dies down soon so they can get back to their normal lives.
"We're so grateful," she said, fighting back tears. "Not just for Jeff but for everybody on the plane."
She said she's always worried more about Jeffrey Skiles driving to airports in Chicago and Milwaukee than flying.
"If you're going to be in an airplane disaster, you couldn't ask for a better ending," she said.
God bless the pilot and co-pilot in this incident. They reflect great credit on the American spirit.
what are the odds?
Hey! Are you trying to seduce me with that tag line? If so, I surrender to your every whim, LOL!
Former military pilot...this guy is DA BOMB.
Remember 25 years ago when a plane went down in the water in Washington D.C., and a pedestrian jumped off the bridge and repeatedly swam from wreckage to shore to save survivors until he died of exposurer in the winter water?
I remember that like it was yesterday:
(I think he stole my recipe)...
kewl. looks like someone from your town turned out OK. ;)
LOL...guess I should change that. If you go to the American Idol live thread you will see a lot of that in tag lines. Sort of an inside joke based on one of the folks who auditioned calling himself “Sexual Chocolate”.
Wait a minute. What happened to the sexual beerfarts??
“Injured” is so vague a term as to be meaningless.
“Seriously injured” is almost as vague, but in the scheme of things I think one broken leg, some cuts and bruises, shock and hypothermia is getting away easy compared to what might have happened.
That was the first night of American Idol. Changed it for day two since nobody but you laughed. *wink*
Great job by all the flight crew!
Thank goodness there wasn’t an affirmative action pilot at the controls.
Cant find a photo of your guy still looking though..
True enough. As an academic aside, try googling AIS or Abbreviated Injury Scale. It's an injury severity scoring system that is used by the civilian and military medical communities. Technically, "injury" and "serious injury" can be defined fairly precisely, I just wouldn't expect a journalist to do so.
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