Famous pilot speaks about Malaysian plane

Published On: Mar 28 2014 10:23:20 PM EDT   Updated On: Mar 28 2014 11:40:00 AM EDT

VIDEO: The copilot of the plane that made a landing in the Hudson river was in town today to speak to a group at Craig Field and reflect on the Malaysian plane that went down.


The Malaysia Airlines mystery over the Indian Ocean has one famous pilot drawing comparisons to the miracle on New York's Hudson River in 2009.

Jeff Skiles, the co-pilot of US Airways Flight 1549, whose emergency was known as the "miracle on the Hudson," spoke to a group of young, aspiring aviators at Jacksonville's Craig Airport Friday night.

Skiles spoke about the mid-air mishap that forced pilots into a procedure that he believes the Malaysia Airlines crew may have turned to in an attempt to land the plane.

Skiles told Channel 4 that it's possible the Malaysia Airlines crew had to use a "ditching" procedure -- similar to what he had to use over the Hudson River -- to avert a disaster or emergency in the air.

Skiles said it's a move all pilots train for, but at night it can be especially dangerous.

"You see a lot of speculation about it but at this point, anything is fair game," said Skiles. "The facts are -- there aren't any facts. Who knows what happened to that plane?"

Skiles served as keynote speaker during Friday's EAA event at Craig Airfield. Skiles spoke to the group about the 20-degree afternoon over New York when he heard four distinct thuds and was forced to ditch the Airbus A-230. The procedure, he said, would have been complicated for the crew of the missing Malaysian plane.

"I wouldn't say it was impossible. They would follow the same procedures we would -- in our case landing on a river -- but once again we don't know any of the facts of the situation are. We don't even know where the airplane is," said Skiles.

From Jacksonville, Skiles goes on to California for talks in Sonoma, San Carlo and Sacramento.


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