A320 ditches into the Hudson River
15 / 01 / 2009
A US Airways A320 made a splash landing into New York’s Hudson River last night. Shortly after taking off from La Guardia airport it reportedly suffered a double bird strike that disabled both of its engines.
Veteran pilot and safety expert Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger (right) brought the plane down safely with no loss of life. With the plane sinking around him he walked the plane twice to ensure that there were no passengers remaining before he himself left and joined the passengers and crew that were being rescued by local ferries and police boats. He missed the George Washington Bridge by 300m.
New York Senator Charles Schumer said “The pilot was truly heroic. “He saw what was happening, gained a low altitude, turned the plane in the right direction, found the Hudson River and made sure it wasn’t a nose-first landing but rather flat. That’s probably what saved everybody’s life, thank God.”
“Gotta give it to the pilot, man, he made a hell of a landing,” said passenger Jeff Kolodjay.
Michael Bloomberg, the Mayor of New York, said “We are very lucky. The pilot certainly did a masterful job of landing and everybody worked together. It is terrible that it happened at all but if it was going to have to happen, this outcome is as good as you could ever hope and pray for.”
The plane was towed by tugboats down the river where it will eventually be pulled out of the river to be inspected by flight safety investigators.