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Friday, January 16, 2009

Miracle Landing on the Hudson by Flight 1549

Just wow! What quick thinking by the pilot, the crew and passengers as they reacted to the situation with calm purpose. And kudos to the commercial ferry pilots, crews and passengers as they rendered aid to those on US Airways Flight #1549.

As you undoubtedly already know, an Airbus A.320 crash-landed on the Hudson River yesterday afternoon. Us Airways Flight #1549 took off from La Guardia on a flight to Charlotte, NC.

Reports indicate that several large birds (geese) were sucked into one of the engines and the turbine disintegrated, forcing the pilot [his webpage] to seek a place to put down in a hurry. He chose to put it down in the Hudson River, and warned the passengers to prepare for impact. The Smoking Gun has more on the pilot

There were 150 passengers, 3 Flight Attendants and 2 Pilots on board, and all survived the crash. [Plane Spotter data on plane] [Airliner Gallery]

Immediately after the water landing, every available boat on the Hudson River made for the crash to render assistance to the passengers and crew. People were plucked from the frigid waters and from the wings on the slowly sinking plane. 

More information from the Jet Airliner Crash Data Evaluation Centre is in this pdf download.

Here is a video of the plane in the water:

NBC Special Report

The flight left La Guardia at 3.26pm and landed in the water at 3.32pm.

Here is the text of a Press Release by US Airways:

Latest statement regarding flight 1549

(Released 6:38 PM Eastern Time)

US Airways CEO Doug Parker makes statement regarding flight 1549

TEMPE, AZ - January 15, 2009

US Airways (NYSE: LCC) Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Doug Parker made a statement regarding flight 1549 this afternoon. Parker spoke at US Airways headquarters in Tempe. His remarks follow:

"Thank you for joining us so quickly. US Airways flight 1549 has been involved in an accident. The Airbus A320 was en route to Charlotte from LaGuardia with 150 passengers onboard. The flight was operated with a crew of 5 (2 pilots and 3 flight attendants). Our preliminary report is that everyone is off the plane. 

We have activated our 'US Airways Care' team of specially trained employee volunteers to assist those affected by this accident. Individuals who believe they may have family members on board flight 1549 may call US Airways at 1-800-679-8215 within the United States. This number can be reached toll-free from international locations through AT&T’s USADirect®. To contact an AT&T operator, please visit for USADirect® access codes. 

Others are asked not to call this number so the lines can be kept available for those who truly need them. It is premature to speculate about the cause of this accident. Out of respect for those affected by these events, we would ask that you, the media, also resist the temptation to speculate. 

The National Transportation Safety Board will conduct a thorough investigation to determine the probable cause with our complete support and the support of many others. Further, we are working with and will continue to cooperate fully with the NTSB, local, state and national authorities and answers will emerge in the course of the investigation. 

I will be heading to New York shortly. Right now, we're working to care for those who have been touched by this accident. Members of our airline family will come together with these families to help however we can. 

In closing, safety is, has been and forever will be our foremost priority. All of us at US Airways are committed to determining the cause of this event and to assist in every way possible in preventing a similar occurrence."

US Airways will continue to release information as it becomes available. Please monitor for the latest information. 

Parker made his statement before departing for LaGuardia. He will join the US Airways Care Team, which is already en route to look after the needs of those involved in today's accident. 

US Airways will continue to release information as it becomes available. Please monitor for the latest information. (LCCG) 

- LCC -
Contact: Media Relations 480-693-5729

Statement 3 (released 5:43 PM Eastern Time) 
Statement 2 (released 4:49 PM Eastern Time) 
Statement 1 (released 4:12 PM Eastern Time)