On this day in history, January 15, 2009, US Airways flight makes miraculous landing in the Hudson River

On this day in history, January 15, 2009, US Airways flight makes miraculous landing in the Hudson River

US Airways Flight 1549 made a miraculous emergency landing in the Hudson River on this day in history, Jan. 15, 2009. The maneuver occurred shortly after the US Airways Airbus A320 aircraft left LaGuardia Airport in New York City for Charlotte, North Carolina. Captain Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger, along with first officer Jeffrey Skiles, manned the plane, which had been delivered new to US Airways in 1999. ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY, JANUARY 14, 1954, MARILYN MONROE MARRIES JOE DIMAGGIO Both pilots had ample flying experience at the time, according to A former military pilot, Sullenberger had racked up nearly 20,000 flying hours, which included 4,756 hours on the A320. Skiles, who was a newly transferred pilot to the aircraft, had more than 20,000 flying hours in total. The flight took off normally from Queens, New York, at 3:26 p.m. in 2009, noted ‘MIRACLE ON THE HUDSON’ SURVIVORS OPEN UP ABOUT CRASH’S IMPACT ON THEIR LIVES 10 YEARS LATER Shortly after takeoff — nearly 4.5 miles from the airport — the plane was confronted by a flock of Canadian geese. The large group of birds flew into the pilots’ field of view, while some of the geese were ingested into the engines. Both engines were immediately compromised upon impact when the plane was at a height of just under 3,000 feet. With a cool, level-headed reaction and quick thinking, Sullenberger took control of the aircraft, which Skiles had flown during takeoff. The plane had entered a glide descent 10 seconds after impact when Sullenberger started the APU, otherwise known as the auxiliary power unit. It powers an electric generator and provides air pressure, as described. ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY, JANUARY 11, 1935, AMELIA EARHART IS FIRST AVIATOR TO FLY SOLO FROM HAWAII TO CALIFORNIA While attempts to restart the main engines failed, Sullenberger made a mayday call only 22 seconds after the birds struck the plane. A recording of the radio call from the cockpit reveals that Sullenberger calmly reported the incident. “This is Cactus 1549, hit birds,” he said. “We’ve lost thrust on both engines. We’re turning back toward LaGuardia.” Air Traffic Control swiftly offered options for an emergency landing at LaGuardia, but Sullenberger calculated that the plane wouldn’t make it. The pilots instead requested landing at New Jersey’s Teterboro Airport — and were cleared to land on Runway 1. As Aircraft A320 flew only 900 feet above the George Washington Bridge — which connects New York and New Jersey — Sullenberger realized an emergency landing in the Hudson River would be the only option, as noted. “We may end up in the Hudson,” the pilot radioed in. Air Traffic Control continued giving assistance while Sullenberger and Skiles braced for a water landing. “We can’t do it,” Sullenberger responded to incoming landing options. “We’re going to be in the Hudson.” ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY, DECEMBER 17, 1903, WRIGHT BROTHERS ACCOMPLISH FIRST FLIGHT IN KITTY HAWK, NORTH CAROLINA The aircraft ditched in the Hudson River at 3:31 p.m. The flight only lasted a total of five minutes, according to The 155 airplane passengers were evacuated onto the wings and emergency slides. The aircraft was equipped for extended over-water use, according to, which meant there were full life vest provisions and the exit slides could be detached and used as rafts. Nearby boats moved quickly to retrieve passengers from the water, according to New York Waterway. Fourteen New York Waterway ferries responded and rescued 143 passengers, while the U.S. Coast Guard and FDNY (New York City Fire Department) saved the 12 other passengers and crew members. New York Waterway considers it the “most successful marine rescue in aviation history,” according to its website. Many of the passengers could have died or suffered the effects of hypothermia if ferry crews had not responded as quickly as they did, experts noted. All passengers were removed from the water and the aircraft by 3:55 p.m., only 24 minutes after ditching. All 155 people aboard the plane survived the landing. CLICK HERE TO SIGN UP FOR OUR LIFESTYLE NEWSLETTER The maneuver has been known as the “Miracle on the Hudson” — since an unpowered water landing like this one is “extremely dangerous,” as reported. “There are procedures for water landings, or ditching, from manufacturers and regulators, but in practice, these are rare occurrences,” the website said. Sullenberger was ranked second in Time magazine’s “Top 100 Most Influential Heroes and Icons of 2009,” after Michelle Obama. Sully Sullenberger retired from US Airways on March 3, 2010, after 30 years as a commercial pilot. CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP Sullenberger is co-author, with Jeffrey Zaslow, of the bestselling book, “Highest Duty: My Search for What Really Matters,” a memoir of his life and of the events surrounding Flight 1549, published in 2009 by HarperCollins. For more Lifestyle articles, visit

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Publish date : 2024-01-15 05:02:49

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