Lift Cranes Play a Crucial Role in Flight #1549 Investigation

A part of crane truck for constructionClint Eastwood’s 2016 masterpiece, “Sully”, unveils the story of the renowned American pilot Captain Chesley B. “Sully” Sullenberger who became a hero after successfully landing the damaged Airbus A-320, saving the lives of the flight’s crew and passengers. In January 2009, Sully steered the U.S. Airways plane toward the freezing waters of the Hudson River to save all 155 people aboard the Flight #1549.

Following the investigation of the crash site was the recovery of the submerged parts of the plane using lift cranes. Industry experts from explain that these machines are important in incidents such as this because they can lift and transport extremely heavy objects.

Challenges during the Investigation

A news story says that the operation to recover the plane’s flight-data recorder and haul the pieces of the plane was made even more difficult by the river’s strong currents and icy conditions. The divers had hot water hoses to combat the frigid temperatures and voice-assisted devices for better communication. However, they still had poor visibility in the area, making it a challenge to maneuver around and examine the aircraft.

Operation to Lift the Plane

Two days after the incident, divers were finally able to attach harnesses underneath the fuselage of the mostly intact plane. These harnesses were first secured to parallel bars above the jet and then to the cables of a 500-ton heavy lift crane.

Workers had to gradually raise Airbus A-320 to drain the water that has pervaded the crate. They also used tugboats to keep ice sheets at a distance during the operation. The lifting process lasted approximately 90 minutes on the night of January 17. The crane moved the plane toward a clear barge and set it down, allowing investigators to find critical information on the crash.

Heavy lift cranes offer a wide variety of uses, and in this case, it played a crucial role in lifting the damaged plane to allow for easier access and analysis.