Update Wings benefit: Patrick Harten, Doreen Welsh

October 1, 2009

Flight 1549 posts
Wings of Mercy Benefit (Welsh/Harten) (press release)
Harten/Welsh honored at HS football game
Sheila Dail, Doreen Welsh team up for charity

Hey paddimint.

Thanks for your patience.

A new visitor, Beth, came by and left a link to a story and video from KSTP about the Wings of Mercy Benefit.

THANK YOU, BETH.

The benefit was held in a hangar at the Buffalo Minnesota Airport – music, food, donors, volunteers, ex patients and their families. Featured guests were Flight 1549’s ATC Patrick Harten and flight attendant Doreen Welsh – who was in the rear of the plane and one of the handful of folks injured.

Both spoke and answered questions from the audience.

WELSH:

I was proud of all of us.

We definitely had help from above. It was dubbed the Miracle on the Hudson for a reason.

It was quite an amazing story.

That it still is.

HARTEN from the video (won’t embed):

To me, a water landing meant a death sentence.

Whatever life you save is tremendous – whether it be 155 or 1.

The event was to benefit Wings of Mercy

Headquartered in St. Cloud MN, Wings of Mercy, Minnesota Inc. (Wings) is an all volunteer medical air transportation service in which FAA certified pilots, nurses and other professionals donate their time, planes and expertise in order to transport beneficiaries who are in medical and financial need.

They are not usually involved in emergencies but they were called upon during the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and went down to New Orleans to pick up and transport back an acutely ill child. (Read the story)

Wings relies strictly on charitable donations as they do not charge patients – each flight costs at least $750 for the fuel.

One Response to “Update Wings benefit: Patrick Harten, Doreen Welsh”

  1. Beth Says:

    The Wright County Journal Press of Buffalo, Minnesota now has their weekly issue dated October 2, 2009 posted online at:
    http://www.thedrummer.com/
    By scrolling down the single page of that issue, you can find a photo of Welsh and Hart surrounded by Buffalo High School cheerleaders (it’s a very small photo!) plus the following text:

    TITLE OF ARTICLE: Hudson River heroes welcomed

    PHOTO DESCRIPTION:
    Buffalo High School cheerleaders surround Patrick Harten and Doreen Welch as the pair was recognized during Friday’s homecoming football game. Harten and Welch played key roles in contributing to the successful outcome of US Airways Flight 1549, which had an emergency landing in the Hudson River last January. (Photo by Heather Reinhart)

    Patrick Harten and Doreen Welch were recognized for their heroics during Friday night’s homecoming football game between Buffalo and Monticello. The two played key roles in contributing to the outcome of US Airways Flight 1549, which had an emergency landing in the Hudson River last January.

    Harten and Welch were in Buffalo as guest speakers during the Wings of Mercy Benefit, which was held at the Buffalo Airport on Saturday. The Wings of Mercy is a group of volunteer pilots who offer free, volunteer medical air transportation service.

    While the Flight 1549 was on its initial climb after departing from LaGuardia Airport in New York on Jan. 15, the Airbus A320 struck a flock of Canada Geese, which resulted in an immediate loss of thrust from both engines. The pilot managed to safely land the plane in the Hudson River. All 150 passengers and five crew members were able to safely evacuate the airliner.

    Harten is from New York and was the air traffic controller handling departures out of LaGuardia the day of the crash. He received the call from the captain that an emergency landing was necessary and attempted to re-route him to a safe landing. When re-routing to another airport was not an option and the plane headed for the Hudson River, Harten believed that he would be the last one to talk to anyone on the plane alive.

    Welch, of Pittsburgh, was a flight attendant on the plane who was on her last leg of four days of flights. Welch was in the rear of the plane, which took the brunt of the force on impact and submerged underwater first. She sustained a severe leg injury that later required surgery, but helped passengers in the back of the plane out to safety first. She has since fully recovered from her physical injuries, but has not yet returned to work and is unsure if she ever will.

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