Miracle on Hudson passengerwill be Aero Club speaker
by Gary Vacin
A Phoenix woman who survived the “Miracle on the Hudson” flight
in 2009 will be guest speaker at the Sun Lakes Aero Club gathering Monday,
March 19 at the Sun Lakes Country Club Navajo Room. The session starts with
coffee and fellowship at 6:30 p.m., followed by the presentation at 7 p.m. The
public is invited.
Tracey Wolsko will relate her experiences as a back-seat passenger in
the flight that successfully landed in the Hudson River after both engines failed
following a collision with a flock of birds. She was originally scheduled to speak
in November but had to cancel because of health reasons.
The flight left LaGuardia Airport in New York City en route to Charlotte,
N.C. when it struck a flock of Canadian Geese almost immediately after takeoff.
Both engines failed. The plane, an Airbus 320 piloted by Chesley “Sully”
Sullenberger, made a successful forced landing in the Hudson River. Despite
the cold weather, all 155 passengers survived.
Walsko wasn't supposed to be on the flight that day. She was booked on an
earlier flight but decided to go stand-by for the later flight. She said she was
thrilled to get one of the last seats on the flight, a middle seat in the last row of
A few minutes later she found herself crammed onto one of the plane's
emergency slides, shoeless and shivering, floating in the Hudson River. Many of
the plane's passengers were perched on the plane's wings. She said she had no
idea the plane had landed in the river. “I thought we had headed back to
LaGuardia for a landing there. I was surprised when the water started rising in
Walsko is the fifth in a series of six persons to relate their aviation-related
experiences at a Sun Lakes Aero Club gathering. April speaker will be Lonnie
McClung, a retired U.S.Navy officer who logged more than 7,000 flying hours
and flew 250 combat missions in Vietnam.
More information on the Aero Club is availabale from Cannon Hill at