US Airways Flight 1549 Crashes - ATC - Aviation Information

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US Airways Flight 1549 Crashes

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US Airways Flight 1549 has crashed into the chilly Hudson River after departing LaGuardia Airport - LGA. The aircraft bound for Charlotte Douglas Airport - CLT departed runway 4 at 3:24 pm eastern time. Initial reports are saying that the aircraft struck a bird on departure. Air Traffic Controllers attempted to give the aircraft vectors back to the airport, but the pilot requested to land at nearby Teterboro Aiport - TEB. Shortly after that request, air traffic controllers lost contact with the aircraft.

Approximately 30 seconds after departure one passenger from Connecticut, on his way to a golf trip said the "engine blew out and just prior to impact states that the pilot came over the PA system and said, "Brace for Impact!"

There are reports of 150 passengers and five crew members on the Airbus 320. Rescue and recovery efforts are in place and everyone has been accounted for at this point, there have been no deaths. Official word from the Federal Aviation Administration was that the aircraft was in the air for around six minutes before coming to rest in the Hudson River in one piece.

One eyewitness states that the aircraft landing was "unbelievable." Passengers were standing on the wings of the aircraft to be rescued by ferries. The aircraft was submerged within 30 minutes. Only the cockpit and tail of the aircraft remains above water. The United States Coast Guard helicopters have pulled over 30 people from the water.

Reports are now saying that four people have been taken to the emergency room and hospital staff has been advised that as many as 19 people might be taken there for hypothermia. The water in the Hudson River was around 41 degrees.

The crew is being praised for the exceptional landing in the Hudson River and evacuation process that occurred after.

Passenger and Eyewitness Comments and Facts:

Jeff Kolodjay a passenger from Norwalk, Connecticut, told Reuters: "The engine blew. There was fire everywhere and it smelled like gas...People were bleeding all over. We hit the water pretty hard. It was scary."

Alberto Panero a passenger: "It was a near death experience (that) thankfully did not turn that way." Passengers are crediting pilots and crew with averting a potential tragedy.

"Barbara Sambriski, a researcher at The Associated Press, saw the plane go down from the news organization's high-rise office. "I just thought, 'Why is it so low?' And, splash, it hit the water," she said.

"Everyone's fine. There was a lady with her baby and she was trying to crawl over the seats. And I said, women and children first. She got off," said Kolodajy, who praised the effort by the pilot.

"I tell you what. It says a lot about people. He knew we were going down," Kolodajy said. "The engine blew out about three minutes, we circled around to the Hudson. Pilot said, look, we're going down. We looked at one another and said prayers."

The pilot walked the aircraft at least two times to ensure that all passengers had made it off the aircraft. It has been reported that the pilot was the last person off the aircraft.

Twenty-seven years ago this week, an Air Florida plane bound for Tampa crashed into the Potomac River after hitting a bridge just after takeoff from Washington National Airport. The crash on Jan. 13, 1982, killed 78 people including four people in their cars on the bridge. Five people on the plane survived.

The Airbus 320 is a short to medium range aircraft similar to the Boeing 737. The aircraft range is around 3,000 nautical miles.

The National Transportation Safety Boards "Go Team" will be arriving around 7:00 pm to 7:30 pm to begin preliminary investigations as to exactly what took place. They will be very interested in the Flight Data Recorder (FDR) as it will give them an idea of how the flights systems were operating during the sequence of events that led to the crash. The Cockpit Voice Recorder (CVR) will also play a key role in unfolding the events of the crash.

Family Members may call this number to inquire about their loved ones. (800) 679-8215

Below is the flight path US Airways Flight 1549 took prior to crashing in the Hudson River.
An image of the aircraft from

US Airways Flight 1549 Crashes
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