‘Miracle on the Hudson’ pilot says ‘working together’ was key to overcoming disaster in 2009


Earlier this week, Chesley Sullenberger said on Twitter that “it was hard to believe” that January 15, 2021 was the 12th anniversary of the so-called “Miracle on the Hudson”.

“It was a day when an unforeseen crisis impacted the lives of many and forced passengers, crew and first responders to overcome the unknown by doing one thing: working together,” Sullenberger wrote. .

When US Airways Flight 1549 took off from New York’s LaGuardia Airport on January 15, 2009, the pilot, Captain Sullenberger III, said, “What a view of the Hudson today.”

Sullenberger or co-pilot Jeffrey Skiles had no idea they would be approaching the Hudson River anytime soon.

A minute later, Sullenberger said only one word – “Birds”.

Skiles said, “Whoa.”

A thud and thud was heard.

Skiles then said, “Uh oh.”

Seconds later, Sullenberger said, “Mayday mayday mayday. Uh, it’s Cactus [1549], hit the birds. We have lost thrust in both engines. We turn around towards LaGuardia.

But it was not possible.

Sullenberger soon realized that wouldn’t be possible and said, “We could end up in the Hudson.”

This is exactly what the plane did at 3:30 p.m., making an emergency landing in the river after an engine failure caused by the impact of a flock of geese.

The Airbus 320 heading for Charlotte Douglas Airport and then Seattle-Tacoma International Airport was in the Hudson River.

Sullenberger and Skiles and the flight crew evacuated the 150 passengers before the plane sank. Sullenberger checked the plane twice before evacuating.

Nearby boats, including two ferries, on the river helped rescue the passengers. Firefighters, police, boats and divers intervened on the scene. A handful of passengers were seriously injured, but most were treated for minor injuries.

Sullenberger and the rest of the crew received several awards and honors for their achievement. They were honored at the Super Bowl in 2009. Sullenberger pitched the first pitch for the 2009 Major League Baseball season opener for the San Francisco Giants.

The mind-blowing event of 2016 was the subject of the film “Sully” starring Tom Hanks and directed by Clint Eastwood.

Former New York City Governor David Paterson at the time called the daring feat “The Miracle on the Hudson.”

The aircraft itself was until recently in the Carolinas Aviation Museum at Charlotte Douglas International Airport.

According to the New York Post, the plane has been in storage while the museum searches for a new home. The airport needed the space it was in.

Museum officials hope to find a location and reopen by 2022.

Sullenberger retired in March 2010. On his last flight before his retirement, he reunited with Skiles and some of the passengers on Flight 1549.


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