US Airways Flight 1549 passenger grateful for life -- and data
Recovering his data from online backup systems meant one less thing to worry about
Computerworld - Moments after Paul Jorgensen realized the commercial jet he was aboard was about to land in the Hudson River, he turned to the passenger next to him, grabbed his arm and asked him, "Are we going to die?"
"He looked me square in the eye and he nodded. He didn't say anything. He just shook his head up and down like saying yes, we're going to die," Jorgensen said.
Jorgensen, 38, a vice president of sales at Epocrates Inc., a medical software company, was sitting in a window seat in the first row of the first class section of US Airways Flight 1549 on the afternoon of Thursday, Jan. 15. The other 150 passengers in the plane that had left LaGuardia Airport headed for Charlotte only six minutes earlier were strangely calm and quiet as the aircraft dipped between the skyscrapers of Manhattan and New Jersey.
Only a few of the passengers were talking, and they were communicating in what Jorgensen described as non-panicked voices. He heard one or two saying that the plane must be attempting to head back to the airport.
The plane's aircrew, led by 57-year-old Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger -- a former Air Force fighter pilot -- had already decided that the plane couldn't reach the safety of an airfield and had turned south, away from the George Washington Bridge and over the Hudson River next to Manhattan.
Jorgensen said the aircraft did not buck or pitch -- it smoothly but quickly descended to the water. The fast and even descent was deceiving. Even though Jorgensen used his legs and arms to brace himself with all his might, the impact folded his body in half at the waist, driving his chest into his knees. The crash was so violent that the man seated next to him broke his sternum. Jorgensen was left with a huge bruise on his chest for weeks.
The now famous ditching of the airplane in the Hudson ended with all 150 passengers and five crew members stepping safely into rescue boats. It left Jorgensen with a new outlook on life and, as an important afterthought, a new appreciation for online data backup systems. Just like other passengers, Jorgensen lost his luggage. He also lost his ThinkPad laptop and two backup hard drives that he always carried in case the laptop crashed.
Jorgensen's group of stranded passengers was picked up by a New Jersey ferry. As the other passengers were loaded onto the ferry, Jorgensen kept busy asking if he could help in any way, but was told, "Dude, chill out. Go inside and relax."
- Data Warehouse Augmentation: The Queryable Data Store While organizations have, to date, been busy exploring and experimenting, they are now beginning to focus on using big data technologies to solve...
- Rebranded Quadmark revamps its IT solutions with Google Apps Switching to Google Apps halved Quadmark's IT admin costs while achieving 10% time savings per employee. The global consulting firm now spends 80%...
- CrashPlan PROe Security Because mobile laptops often are connected to unsecured networks, a very high standard of security is required to ensure privacy.
- Protecting Digitalized Assets in Healthcare Healthcare providers face an urgent, internal battle every day: security and compliance versus productivity and service. For most healthcare organizations, the fight is...
- Live Webcast LIVE EVENT: 5/7, The End of Data Protection As We Know It. Introducing a Next Generation Data Protection Architecture. Traditional backup is going away, but where does this leave end-users?
- LIVE EVENT: 5/7, The End of Data Protection As We Know It. Introducing a Next Generation Data Protection Architecture. Traditional backup is going away, but where does this leave end-users?
- Make or Break: New Auto Products Must Go To Market On Time This Webcast quantifies the value of time to market for the auto industry and highlights how Primavera Enterprise Portfolio Management can help organizations. All Data Storage White Papers | Webcasts