June 10, 2009
Press release from the Association of Flight Attendants re: the NTSB safety hearing testimony of Flight 1549 passenger Billy Campbell. The AP had mistakenly – and hurtfully – come out with a story that Campbell was disputing Flight Attendant Doreen Welsh’s account that a passenger had unseal the rear door and that in fact it was Ms Welsh herself. Problem being Campbell a) hadn’t talked to the press in 3 months and b) hadn’t even known the door had been breached until Ms Welsh told him long after they were off the plane. In his testimony, Campbell praised Ms Welsh ans said she was courageous and heroic. Words Ms Welsh said “meant the world” to her and then she thanked him from “the bottom of her heart”.
US Airways 1549 Flight Attendants ‘Heroic’ Actions Recounted In NTSB Hearing
For Immediate Release: June 9, 2009
Contact: Corey Caldwell 202-434-0586
Washington, DC – The National Transportation and Safety Board (NTSB) today commenced a three-day hearing on US Airways Flight 1549 with witnesses who testified to the professionalism and efficiency of flight attendants Doreen Welsh, Sheila Dail and Donna Dent, represented by the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA (AFA-CWA). The three AFA-CWA flight attendants safely evacuated 150 passengers on January 15 as the plane sank into the Hudson River.
“We once again applaud our fellow flight attendants for their experience, knowledge and training that helped to save the lives of all passengers onboard Flight 1549,” said Patricia Friend, AFA-CWA International President. “Today, we are reminded of our vital role as safety professionals. Doreen, Sheila and Donna are proud examples of our profession.”
A passenger onboard Flight 1549 testified before the NTSB panel that the three “talented and brave” flight attendants were instrumental in the successful evacuation. The panel also cleared up recent inaccurate press reports stating that the passenger was selected to testify in order contradict statements made by flight attendant Doreen Welsh regarding the opening of the aft door immediately after the crash.
The purpose of the hearing is to gather additional information in order to evaluate issues that could be enhanced or modified in order to increase overall safety. As an official party to the investigation, AFA-CWA is allowed to question witnesses during the hearing. Other parties to the investigation include: US Airways, Airbus, US Airways Airline Pilots Association, CFM International, and the FAA.