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Can team work save lives?

April 17, 2009

When individuals know how to work together as a team, it makes all the difference in the world.

The crew worked as a team, not as individuals—and that saved the lives of all 155 people aboard

The crew worked as a team, not as individuals—and that saved the lives of all 155 people aboard

US Airways Flight 1549 was a scheduled commercial passenger flight from New York City to Charlotte, North Carolina, that, on January 15, 2009, ditched in the Hudson River adjacent to Manhattan six minutes after departing from LaGuardia Airport.

While on its initial climb out, the Airbus A320 struck a flock of Canada Geese which resulted in an immediate almost complete loss of thrust from both engines. When the aircrew realised that the plane would be unable to safely reach any airport from its location just northeast of the George Washington Bridge, they turned it southbound and glided over the river, then ditched the airplane virtually intact near the USS Intrepid Museum in midtown Manhattan. After the 155 occupants safely evacuated the partially submerged and sinking plane they were all rescued by nearby watercraft.

Recently after a thorough review of the incident the National Transportation Safety Board official adamantly explained how the crew and passengers survived a near catastrophe in the incredible forced water landing on the Hudson River. “The crew worked as a team, not as individuals—and that saved the lives of all 155 people aboard”.

The message was clear: when individuals know how to work together as a team, it makes all the difference in the world.

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