The Airbus 320 US Airways plane that crashed into the Hudson River: Sort of miracle?  

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guardian.co.uk, Friday 16 January 2009 02.14 GMT 
Article history

Pilot of US Airways plane avoids disaster and saves lives of 155 people after engine catches fire due to suspected bird strike


The pilot of a US Airways jet managed to avoid disaster and save the lives of all 155 people on board his stricken plane when he ditched into the icy waters of the Hudson river moments after taking off from New York's LaGuardia airport.

The extraordinary escape was immediately dubbed the miracle on the Hudson, and hailed as a testimony to the ability of New York to cope with disaster in the wake of 9/11. Flight 1549 was carrying 148 passengers, including a baby, five crew and two pilots, and all of them escaped.

The captain, named last night as Chesley Sullenberger, has 29 years' experience with commercial airlines and is a former US airforce fighter pilot.

With both his twin engines in trouble, one apparently on fire, and with the ­nearest airport out of range, he calmly brought the plane to land on the river on the west side of Manhattan.

Sullenberger then helped passengers escape to rescue boats, and twice walked the length of the passenger cabin inside the sinking jet to check that everyone had got out safely, before escaping himself."We have had a Miracle on 34th Street. Now we have a miracle on the Hudson," the governor of New York, David Patterson said.

The Airbus 320 took off from LaGuardia bound for Charlotte in North Carolina at 3.26pm. A mere 30 to 45 seconds after take-off there was a bang and the aircraft shook, believed to have been caused by it striking a flock of geese.

The pilot reported to air traffic control that he was experiencing engine ­problems and requested to return to ground. The nearest identified airport was in New Jersey, but when it became clear he could not make it, the pilot prepared for a crash landing on the Hudson. "Brace yourself for impact," he told the passengers.

Seconds later the plane struck the Hudson, on a line with 48th Street in midtown Manhattan, turning a stretch of waterway normally populated by tourists enjoying a waterside view of the skyscrapers into an astonishing fight for survival.

Eyewitnesses reported seeing a splash and the plane coming to an immediate stop; it looked so controlled that some witnesses mistook it for the landing of a seaplane. "I just thought, 'Why is it so low?' And splash, it hit the water," said one witness, Barbara Sambriski.

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2 comments

i am so fed up with the hudson miracle here on french tv we saw it about 14 times the day it happened and about 10 times the day after

so this is my theory this is clearly a terrorist attack indeed the birds were raised by the animals axis of alqaeda, the birds were perfectly ready to such operation we will soon found their passeport their afhgani passeport

seriously the man the driver of the plane he is good because he kept his blood cold and manage to put the plane on the river he 's good

chuckles, ya naughty noughty gurl ;p

oh well, It pretty common tho in werstern media. Nothing new really.
This is none sort of miracle but thanks to years of military grade's flying hours that the pilot had.

On this "miracle" part that been excessively replay, I think this is the very issue that the Israeli's control damage PR can bark on, least can divert the public opinion toward defendless Palestinian and their very much dead brutal slaughtering...