Plane Crash Survivors Make An Impact

TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Surviving a plane crash is nothing short of a miracle. At the sixtieth annual youth leadership banquet of Aviation Explorer Post 8, guests got to meet a flight attendants who survived a near-disaster when her plane crash-landed on the Hudson River.

It happened on a January 15 in 2009 when, just two minutes after take off, US Airways Flight 1549 hit a flight of birds.

Doreen Welsh, who was one of three flight attendants that day, clearly recalls when she heard the "90 seconds to impact!" warning.

"I was terrified, as any human being would be," Doreen Welsh said. "Because not many people live to talk about it after hearing "brace for impact."

Despite being submerged up to her chin in water, Welsh and the crew helped make the "miracle on the Hudson," as the incident came to be known, happen.

"We were just trying to get people to move forward faster because otherwise people in the back would've drowned," she said.

All 150 passengers and 5 crew members survived and Welsh credits training and team work for that.

It's that message of leadership mentors of Air Explorer Squadron Post 8 teach their scouts every day.

David Osborne himself piloted and survived a plane crash near Holton not long ago.

"It's an interesting parallel, because about six weeks ago, I was also in a crash with some people," he said. "We're trying to teach [the scouts] leadership skills. Obviously [flying a plane] is something that does take a lot of responsibility," he said.

At the annual leadership banquet, scouts say their leaders' lessons will stay with them whether they pursue a career in aviation or not.

"The friendship with the advisors is very important. They've taught me many things, not just about aviation but about life in general," Noah Turner, a scout and Vice President of Post 8, said.

And from welsh, they learned about taking chances.

"I got a second chance to make everything right in my life," Welsh said. "Trust me when I say now is the time to change it."

The money raised at the banquet goes towards Post 8 activities, such as flight training, and organizers say it keeps registration fees low for the scouts.


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