US Airways Flight 1549 Plane Crash All Aboard Reported Safe 2009

January 19, 2012 by staff 

US Airways Flight 1549 Plane Crash All Aboard Reported Safe 2009, A ferry was dropping life jackets into the water after the plane entered the river.A US Airways plane with 155 people on board ditched into a chilly Hudson River on Thursday, apparently after striking at least one bird upon takeoff from New York’s LaGuardia Airport, according to officials and passengers.

Everyone on board was accounted for and alive, officials said. About 15 people were being treated at hospitals and others were being evaluated at triage centers.

Flight 1549, headed to Charlotte, North Carolina, was airborne less than three minutes, according to FAA spokeswoman Laura Brown.

The pilot radioed to air traffic controllers that he had experienced a bird strike and declared an emergency, a New Jersey State Police source said.

“I think a lot of people started praying and just collecting themselves,” said passenger Fred Berretta. “It was quite stunning.”

He said he was expecting the plane to flip over and break apart, but it did not.

“It was a great landing,” Berretta said.

Air traffic controllers at LaGuardia saw the plane clear the George Washington Bridge by less than 900 feet before gliding into the water about 3:31 p.m., an aviation source told CNN. Are you there? Send images

Witness Ben Vonklemperer said he watched the plane from the 25th floor of an office building.

“If someone’s going to land a plane in the water, this seemed the best possible way to do it,” Vonklemperer said. “The way they hit it was very gradual. A very slow contact with the water.”

As the situation began to settle Thursday evening, the flight’s pilot, Chesley B. “Sully” Sullenberger, emerged as a hero, with praise being heaped on him by passengers, officials and aviation experts.

“I don’t think there’s enough praise to go around for someone who does something like this. This is something you really can’t prepare for,” said former Delta pilot Denny Walsh. “You really don’t practice water landings in commercial airplanes. Just the sheer expertise he demonstrated is amazing.”

US Airways CEO Doug Parker said it would be premature to speculate about the cause of the accident until the National Transportation Safety Board, which is sending a team to the site, completed an investigation.

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