14 Years Ago Today: Rare Pics Reflect “The Miracle On The Hudson”
The morning of January 15, 2009 is forever etched in New York history. On that day, Captain Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger landed US Airways Flight 1549 on the Hudson River near Manhattan just minutes after taking off from LaGuardia Airport.
Seconds after takeoff, the plane flew through a flock of Canada Geese. The birds were sucked into both engines, and blew both up. The Airbus jet had to make a landing with absolutely no engine power, on water, in one of the biggest cities on Earth, but Cpt. Sullenberger beat the odds and did it. But that wasn't the end.
The country was glued to the news as commuter ferries became rescue boats, pulling passengers and crew off of the wings and emergency rafts. Even after losing both engines, landing a plane on a river in a crowded city, and braving frigid winter waters, all 150 passengers and 5 crews survived. The press dubbed the incident "The Miracle on the Hudson".
Captain Sullenberger was immediately lauded as a hero, getting the key to NYC, awards, and national acclaim. Clint Eastwood directed and released Sully, a movie about the 'Miracle' in 2016 starring Tom Hanks as Sullenberger.
If you watched Sully, you probably remember that in the movie's FAA/NTSB hearing being very harsh on raked Sullenberger as they tried to prove he could have landed the plane back at LaGuardia. While the NTSB did take 15 months to officially clear Sullenberger, everybody agreed Sullenberger's incredible actions saved everyone on board.