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All safe after US Airways jet crash-lands in New York’s Hudson River

Posted by tothewire on January 16, 2009

Plane crash
Flight 1549 carried 148 passengers and six crew members. The plane traveling to Charlotte, N.C., apparently lost power after hitting a flock of birds.
A US Airways plane crash-landed this afternoon in the Hudson River in New York after apparently hitting a flock of birds, but all of the passengers escaped unscathed.

“My understanding is that everybody is alive, but don’t I know if there are any serious injuries or not,” said Federal Aviation Administration spokeswoman Laura Brown. “There are no passengers remaining on the plane.”

The city Fire Department and Coast Guard had launched a rescue effort in the harbor’s icy waters after the crash.

US Airways Flight 1549 was en route to Charlotte, N.C., when it lost power after takeoff from LaGuardia Airport after 3 p.m. EST.

Brown said they were investigating reports that the Airbus 320 lost power after it hit a flock of birds, disabling at least one engine.

“Wow! And thank the Lord and thank the pilot. I can’t believe he somehow managed to land that plane safely,” passenger Alberto Panero told CNN.

“It was near-death experience,” he said. “Thankfully, it didn’t turn out that way.”

The craft carried about 148 passengers and six crew members, according to television reports. Television images showed passengers standing on the wing of the craft as they waited for boats to carry them to land.

Television footage showed ferries and rescue craft floating around the crash site, off Midtown on the west side of Manhattan

The plane appeared partially submerged, at about window level of the fuselage, but sinking quickly. Passengers wearing life vests were being helped off the craft.

“I saw what appeared to be a tail fin of a plane sticking out of the water,” Erica Schietinger told the Associated Press. Schietinger, whose office windows at Chelsea Piers look out over the Hudson, said: “All the boats have sort of circled the area…. I can’t tell what’s what at this point.”

On Nov. 12, 2001, American Airlines Flight 587 crashed off Queens, killing all 260 people aboard and five on the ground.

By Joanna Lin and Michael Muskal
Vodpod videos no longer available. 

The real hero of the Hudson River Miracle:

In this image taken from the website of Safety Reliability Methods, Inc., US Airways pilot Chelsey B. Sullenberger III is shown. An official speaking on condition of anonymity because the investigation was still ongoing, identified Sullenberger as the pilot of US Airways Flight 1549, which crash landed in the Hudson River in New York Thursday, Jan. 15, 2009, as Chelsey B. Sullenberger III.
In this image taken from the website of Safety Reliability Methods, Inc., US Airways pilot Chelsey B. Sullenberger III is shown. An official speaking on condition of anonymity because the investigation was still ongoing, identified Sullenberger as the pilot of US Airways Flight 1549, which crash landed in the Hudson River in New York Thursday, Jan. 15, 2009, as Chelsey B. Sullenberger III.

Hudson River hero is ex-Air Force fighter pilot

NEW YORK (AP) — Civil engineer Robert Bea wasn’t surprised when he learned the name of the cool-headed pilot who guided his hobbled jetliner over the city and landed it in the Hudson River. The pilot, after all, had been studying crisis management.

Bea, co-founder of UC Berkeley’s Center for Catastrophic Risk Management, said he could think of few pilots as well-situated to bring the plane down safely than Chesley B. “Sully” Sullenberger III.

Sullenberger, 57, of Danville, Calif., is a former fighter pilot who runs a safety consulting firm in addition to flying commercial aircraft. He had been studying the psychology of keeping airline crews functioning even in the face of crisis, Bea said.

“When a plane is getting ready to crash with a lot of people who trust you, it is a test,” he said. “Sulley proved the end of the road for that test. He had studied it, he had rehearsed it, he had taken it to his heart.”

Sullenberger became an instant hero Thursday, earning accolades from those aboard US Airways Flight 1549, from New York’s mayor and governor, and from an online fan club.

A woman who answered the phone at Sullenberger’s home in Danville hung up on an Associated Press reporter who asked to speak with the family.

Sullenberger’s wife told CNN she hadn’t been watching the news and was stunned to hear about the ordeal from her husband after it was all over.

“I’ve heard Sully say to people, `It’s rare for an airline pilot to have an incident in their career,'” Lorrie Sullenberger said. “”When he called me he said, `There’s been an accident.’ At first I thought it was something minor, but then he told me the circumstances and my body started shaking and I rushed to get our daughters out of school.”

Sullenberger, who has flown for US Airways since 1980, flew F-4 fighter jets with the Air Force in the 1970s. He then served on a board that investigated aircraft accidents and participated later in several National Transportation Safety Board investigations.

He is president of Safety Reliability Methods, a California firm that uses “the ultra-safe world of commercial aviation” as a basis for safety consulting in other fields, according to the firm’s Web site.

Sullenberger’s mailbox at the firm was full on Thursday. A group of fans sprang up on Facebook within hours of the emergency landing.

“OMG, I am terrified of flying but I would be happy to be a passenger on one of your aircraft!!” Melanie Wills in Bristol wrote on the wall of “Fans of Sully Sullenberger.” “You have saved a lot of peoples lives and are a true hero!!”

The pilot “did a masterful job of landing the plane in the river and then making sure that everybody got out,” Mayor Michael Bloomberg said. “He walked the plane twice after everybody else was off, and tried to verify that there was nobody else on board, and he assures us there was not.”

“He was the last one up the aisle and he made sure that there was nobody behind him.”

Gov. David Paterson pronounced it a “miracle on the Hudson.”

Passenger Beth McHugh, 64, of Charlotte, said: “That pilot has to be commended. He steered that plane so well. I just can’t believe how well he did. We’re all alive because of him.”

Candace Andersen, a member of the Danville Town Council who lives a few blocks from Sullenberger, said it was an amazing story and she was proud to live in the same town as the pilot.

“You look at his training, you look at his experience. It was just the right pilot at the right time in charge of that plane that saved so many lives,” Anderson said. “He is a man who is calm, cool, collected, just as he was today.”

Sullenberger’s co-pilot was Jeff Skiles, 49, of Oregon, Wis., a 23-year US Airways veteran.

“He was OK,” said his wife, Barbara. “He was relieved that everybody got off.”

Associated Press writers Lisa Leff in San Francisco, Haven Daley in Danville, Calif., Colleen Long in New York and researcher Susan James in New York contributed to this report.

more about “2009 New York City Plane Crash Live -…“, posted with vodpod

9 Responses to “All safe after US Airways jet crash-lands in New York’s Hudson River”

  1. dorian9 said

    i was watching this breaking news today and it sounds like the pilot made some pretty good decisions and good piloting.
    saved all those lives. what a hero.


  2. obama the antichrist said

    its a miracle!!!!!!!! and the ferrys that rushed to help just shows that ppl are willing to lend a helping hand to their fellow country man


  3. tothewire said

    Miracle on 34th street has nothing on the miracle on the Hudson River!


  4. Lawman2 said

    hats off to the pilot he is a true hero!


  5. justice4mothers said

    Amazing…truly amazing that everyone was so calm. What a very smart pilot!


  6. Lawman2 said

    hey there justice! yep hats off to pilot and the co pilot!


  7. coffee said

    I’m glad no one was hurt in the crash, sounds like the pilot did a great job


  8. ajlouny said

    It was an amazing thing that happened that day in so many ways. I just love looking that the pictures. It has my mind just going in so many directions on how those people felt and the ultimate high of getting off that plane ALIVE. It’s incredible.


  9. Lawman2 said

    hey there ajlouny!yes it is incredible.

    visited your site http://www.ajlounyinjurylaw.com/airline_accident_lawyers.htm

    all attorneys are welcome here…lol


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