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f/k/a archives . . . real opinions & real haiku

January 15, 2009

flight 1549: fatalities — a big goose egg!

Filed under: Haiku or Senryu,q.s. quickies — David Giacalone @ 7:09 pm

US Airways Flight 1549:  It’s very cold here in Upstate New York, but I’m still taking off my hat to praise the pilot (Capt. Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger, of Danville, Calif.), crew and passengers of US Airways Flight 1549, and all of the rescue workers (fire department, police department and Port authority police).  Together, they were able to bring today’s plane crash into the Hudson River to a remarkably happy ending — with all aboard surviving (most not even getting wet) and no apparent serious injuries. “All 155 survive plane crash in NYC’s Hudson River” (AP/Charlotte Observer, Jan. 15, 2009); “Jet Ditches in Hudson; All Are Said Safe” (New York Times, Jan. 15, 2009) [Click for “latest updates on the Hudson jet rescue” from the NYT City Room weblog.]

NY Gov. David Paterson got it right, when he said:

This is a potential tragedy that may have become one of the most magnificent days in the history of New York City agencies.”

Apparently, the plan encountered a flock of geese. We now know what a “double bird” means to airline and safety workers — a bird or several birds entering engines on both sides of the plane.  According to a side article in the Charlotte Observer, there were at least 6 bird-plane collisions in 2008 — geese, hawks, owls and more.

— we’re left with yet another perspective on flocks of geese —

update (Feb. 12, 2009): The U.S. National Transportation Safety Board reported today that experts at the Smithsonian Institution have determined it was indeed Canadian geese that brought down Flight 1549, after examining 25 samples of bird remains found in the plane’s engine.  See AP report on, and CNN.

Master Issa wrote hundreds of haiku about geese, in the 19th Century.  Here’s a sample (find many more here)

another year
they’re back for the massacre…
rice field geese

wind is blowing
and so the geese
are honking

settling back
to dead silence…
rice field geese

finalizing the divorce
leaving my house behind…
departing geese

the departing goose
drops an enormous

after many nights
telling me bedtime stories
the geese have left

straight out of a full moon
the geese depart

evening wind–
the geese turn around

after the geese depart
back to normal…
Sumida River

…….. by Kobayashi Issa, translated by David G. Lanoue

honking at my window –
geese above
cabbie below

… by dagosan


  1. there are no Canada Geese in NYC in January – they MIGRATE

    Comment by rbj — January 16, 2009 @ 12:31 pm

  2. We still have geese flying around up here in Schenectady, rbj. I see and hear them almost every day along the Mohawk River. Whether they are Canadian or some other type of goose, I do not know. I do not use the word Canadian in my post.

    update (Feb. 12, 2009): See the update in the body of this post, reporting that Canadian geese were indeed the culprits.

    Comment by David Giacalone — January 16, 2009 @ 12:39 pm

  3. Ah, Issa’s famed departing goose … I love that one …


    Comment by Don — January 16, 2009 @ 2:25 pm

  4. Captain Sullenberger charged with goose poaching!


    Comment by Mike Licht — January 17, 2009 @ 3:24 am

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