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US Airways 1549 Flight Attendants 'Heroic' Actions Recounted In NTSB Hearing

Date: June 9, 2009

Washington, DC - The National Transportation and Safety Board (NTSB) today commenced a three-day hearing on US Airways Flight 1549 with witnesses who testified to the professionalism and efficiency of flight attendants Doreen Welsh, Sheila Dail and Donna Dent, represented by the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA (AFA-CWA). The three AFA-CWA flight attendants safely evacuated 150 passengers on January 15 as the plane sank into the Hudson River.

"We once again applaud our fellow flight attendants for their experience, knowledge and training that helped to save the lives of all passengers onboard Flight 1549," said Patricia Friend, AFA-CWA International President. "Today, we are reminded of our vital role as safety professionals. Doreen, Sheila and Donna are proud examples of our profession."

A passenger onboard Flight 1549 testified before the NTSB panel that the three "talented and brave" flight attendants were instrumental in the successful evacuation. The panel also cleared up recent inaccurate press reports stating that the passenger was selected to testify in order contradict statements made by flight attendant Doreen Welsh regarding the opening of the aft door immediately after the crash.

The purpose of the hearing is to gather additional information in order to evaluate issues that could be enhanced or modified in order to increase overall safety. As an official party to the investigation, AFA-CWA is allowed to question witnesses during the hearing. Other parties to the investigation include: US Airways, Airbus, US Airways Airline Pilots Association, CFM International, and the FAA.

For over 60 years, the Association of Flight Attendants has been serving as the voice for flight attendants in the workplace, in the aviation industry, in the media and on Capitol Hill.  More than 50,000 flight attendants at 20 airlines come together to form AFA-CWA, the world's largest flight attendant union. AFA is part of the 700,000-member strong Communications Workers of America (CWA), AFL-CIO. Visit us at www.afanet.org.

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