Incredible! Only in New York!!!
NEW YORK – A US Airways pilot ditched his disabled jetliner into the frigid Hudson River on Thursday afternoon after a collision with a flock of birds apparently knocked out both engines, but rescuers pulled all 155 people on board into boats as the plane sank. There were no immediate reports of any serious injuries.
Flight 1549 went down minutes after takeoff from LaGuardia Airport for Charlotte, N.C., splashing into the river near 48th Street in midtown Manhattan.
"There were eyewitness reports the plane may have flown into a flock of birds," said Federal Aviation Administration spokeswoman Laura Brown. "Right now we don't have any indication this was anything other than an accident."
Passenger Jeff Kolodjay of Norwalk, Conn., said he heard an explosion two or three minutes into the flight, looked out the left side of the Airbus 320 and saw one of the engines on fire.
"The captain said, `Brace for impact because we're going down,'" Kolodjay said. He said passengers put their heads in their laps and started saying prayers. He said the plane hit the water pretty hard, but he was fine.
"It was intense. It was intense. You've got to give it to the pilot. He made a hell of a landing," Kolodjay said.
The plane was submerged in the icy waters up to the windows when rescuers in Coast Guard vessels and ferry boats arrived, opened the door and pulled passengers in yellow life vests from the aircraft, whose fuselage appeared intact. The plane was sinking in the near-freezing water on one of the coldest days of the year, with the mercury around 20 degrees.
Witnesses said the plane's pilot appeared to guide the plane down.
"I see a commercial airliner coming down, looking like it's landing right in the water," said Bob Read, who saw it from his office at the television newsmagazine "Inside Edition." "This looked like a controlled descent."
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Any landing you can walk away from, it's a good one! This one is for the ages!!!