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US Airways A320 Down in Hudson River in Midtown Manhattan


A plane is down in the Hudson River near midtown Manhattan:

"US Airways Flight 1549, an Airbus A320, was headed to Charlotte, North Carolina, the Federal Aviation Administration said. A passenger said he was 'pretty sure' everybody on the plane got out. 'Somehow, the plane stayed afloat and we were all able to get on a raft,' said the passenger, Alberto Panero. 'It's just incredible now that everyone's still alive.' A New Jersey State Police source told CNN the pilot radioed to air traffic controllers that he had experienced a bird strike -- when a bird or flock of birds is sucked into the jet engine -- and declared an emergency. FAA spokeswoman Laura Brown also said preliminary information indicates a bird strike. The plane was in the air for about three minutes before it went down, the FAA said."

Above right, the flight path of the plane. Top, a cameraphone shot by a passenger on a ferry.

WABC: 146 passengers, 5 crew members. Eyewitness reports engine on fire, controlled descent into water...

And here is the hero of Flight 1549, Chesley B. "Sully" Sullenberger, III. He reportedly swept the enter aisle twice to see that there were no more passengers, and was the last to leave the plane:


Passenger interview and Mayor Bloomberg's news conference, AFTER THE JUMP...


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  1. i remember in the 80s they had so many wrecks in a fairly short period of time they were known as "us scareways."

    i'm happy to see that everyone got out alive.

    Posted by: alguien | Jan 15, 2009 4:46:39 PM

  2. Actually, they were called US Air at that time, so the nickname was US Scare. Legend has it that's why they changed the name to US Airways.

    Posted by: Joseph | Jan 15, 2009 5:30:54 PM

  3. Holy crap. What an amazing accomplishment to land that plane in the water without killing anyone. I would have shat myself.

    That pilot deserves a pat on the back, bless his heart.

    Posted by: The Milkman | Jan 15, 2009 5:34:44 PM

  4. Well, I guess this kills Airbus' efforts to get Obama on its plane. Though what an amazing story. I'll be curious to see how they remove it from the river.

    Posted by: Paul R | Jan 15, 2009 5:44:56 PM

  5. Yikes.. I must have landed at LGA just minutes before this happened..

    Yes, I think everyone calls it US Scare-ways now... so the name change didn't help. I never fly them unless I have to go to Pittsburgh.

    Does anyone have any sympathy for the birds that got ground up in the engines? :-) (I can joke only because noone was hurt here! The birds were the only casualty.)

    Posted by: Anonymous | Jan 15, 2009 6:12:00 PM

  6. I wish I were Walt Whitman so I could write a song to competence. And lucky breaks. A majority of folks acting wisely and making the most of what they've got. Congratulations and best wishes to all involved.

    Posted by: Gary | Jan 15, 2009 8:26:55 PM

  7. The pilot kept his cool and acted very professional. Says alot for the plane. It must be well built. I would think the engines ould have been hit first making it difficult grease it in.

    Posted by: Jake Payne Jr. | Jan 15, 2009 8:34:31 PM

  8. Does anybody know if this is the first landing on water with no casualities?

    Posted by: Jake Payne Jr. | Jan 15, 2009 8:38:19 PM

  9. No, back in 1963 a Russian passenger jet crashed into a river after running out of fuel - in that case the plane was towed to shore with everyone still aboard - there was no loss of life.

    Posted by: jmo | Jan 16, 2009 1:27:36 AM

  10. While the captain deserves kudos, so does the First Officer whom nobody seems to acknowledge. Under such circumstances, it takes both pilots to deal with the situation. The first officer deserves an atta boy as well.

    Posted by: Bob Conti | Jan 16, 2009 2:32:18 AM

  11. Both pilots, and the flight crew, deserve a promotion and a raise! A fantastic job by all involved. Special recognition should go to NY Waterway Ferry, which sent 14 ships to the scene to get the passengers safely off the plane. NY Waterway is in financial trouble, and probaby could not afford to suspend its regular service even for one afternoon. But they did the right thing anyway.

    It was truly a magnificent demonstration of airmanship, and I hope everyone involved gets their due praise.

    Posted by: Nathan James | Jan 16, 2009 8:16:13 AM

  12. And before they were US Air and US Airways, they were Allegheny Airlines....and they were called "Agony Airlines" then - just another part of Pittsburgh, PA history....

    Good job to the pilots and crew in this incident!

    Posted by: Beef and Fur | Jan 16, 2009 12:19:18 PM

  13. pranams to the bravery of the pilot, who saved 100s of peoples life.

    Posted by: Shani Madathil. Oman Muscat | Jan 18, 2009 6:51:51 AM

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