US Airways flight attendants, represented by the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA (AFA-CWA) were instrumental in the evacuation of 150 passengers earlier this week as Flight 1549 made an emergency water landing in New York’s Hudson River. Mike Flores, AFA-CWA US Airways President issued the following statement praising the professionalism of the three Charlotte, N.C., crew members:

“What began as a normal flight suddenly turned into something far from normal. US Airways Flight 1549 departed New York’s LaGuardia airport shortly after 3 pm. Within minutes of becoming airborne the crew faced a seemingly impossible situation.

“While the investigation of Flight 1549 will take months to complete we do know this much — the skill and professionalism of the entire crew made all the difference.

“Never in the history of aviation has a commercial jet made a perfectly successful emergency water ditching. That history is forever changed now because of the actions of the crew of flight 1549.

“Once the aircraft came to rest in the water, the years of experience and training of the flight attendants took over. All 150 passengers were safely evacuated and the crew was the last to exit the aircraft. That did not happen because of luck. The only way this happened was because flight attendants are first and foremost safety professionals, trained for an event such as occurred yesterday afternoon.

“The media is calling the event the, ‘Miracle on the Hudson’. Obviously the end result was remarkable. Others may judge the result as a miracle, but AFA-CWA believes what happened yesterday should be renamed to ‘Professionalism on the Hudson’. Clearly, the entire crew were heroes.

“Flight attendants are often not viewed as the safety professionals that we are. I know that for at least the 150 people aboard Flight 1549 yesterday, flight attendants are now looked at in a new light and the world should be reminded that flight attendants are safety professionals whose primary purpose onboard an aircraft is to save lives.

“We are all so proud of the crew of flight 1549 — but we also know that any one in our profession would have performed in the same manner.”