Hudson River plane crash: Breaking news from the office window

January 15, 2009

Passengers stand on the wings of a U.S. Airways plane after it landed in the Hudson River in New York, January 15, 2009.  REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

The Reuters bureau in Times Square has a striking view of the Hudson River and New Jersey, but on Thursday the scenery became an afterthought, as a US Airways jet splashed down in the frigid waters right before our eyes.

“I was on the phone when I saw a big splash in the middle of the river and realized it was a plane,” said Reuters correspondent Scott DiSavino. “I put the phone down and yelled, ‘Hey, a plane just crashed into the Hudson River!’”

The bureau sprang into action. Photographers sprinted out of the office toward the river, a few long blocks away. Those of us who had the earliest and clearest view gathered around a reporter sending headlines out to Reuters news clients, dictating details about what was happening.

The Passur AirportMonitor site shows the plane took of from Laguardia airport and headed north over the Bronx while climbing to about 2400 feet. Above Yonkers, the plane took a sharp left turn, bringing it over the Hudson River, and it quickly lost altitude. Radar showed the last known altitude at about 500 feet.

(Video capture from Passur.com)

As we could see from our windows, the plane splashed down somewhere near the Intrepid aircraft carrier, docked on the west coast of midtown Manhattan. Ferries immediately sped out to rescue passengers who were standing on the plane’s wings, some of them in knee-deep frigid water.

Earlier indications were that the the plane had flown through a flock of geese, resulting in an explosion in one of the engines. All passengers were rescued.

As our pulses slowly returned to normal we got back to work, chasing up details on the crash, the rescue and the aftermath. More than a few eyes cast occasional glances at the windows, where we had just witnessed some extreme drama without even putting on our coats.

23 comments

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Next time i fly, i want thay pilot. He/She is an absolute hero and should get a million dollar bonus, just on the insurance he saved the airline by having every soul survive.

It is nothing short of a MIRACLE! God was watching over then all. It is a sight I shall never forget. It is also Dejavu for me when any plane crashes as my brother was a passenger in a fatal crash, many years ago.

Posted by Tammy Larsen | Report as abusive

It seems that in our highly technologicalized world,
that we could find some way to keep flocks of geese
out of plane engines. We can send a probe to Mars, but can’t keep a flock of geese out of an airplane engine? Of course I hope there were no casualties. I’d guess this problem might keep some engineers out there, up at night. I can’t help but wonder how this issue will
be solved.

Posted by Kate | Report as abusive

A Flock of geese? Should that be a Gaggle of geese!

Posted by Dave Von Derau | Report as abusive

Plane Crush In Hudson River…

The flight 1549 crashes into Hudson River
Lucky people …

People out of the USAir plane (via Reuters Global Blog)
FBI says there’s no indication this crash was connected to terrorism.
I really want to congratulate passengers of this flight….

The flight crew deserve medals! Absolutely fantastic result!

Posted by jemma | Report as abusive

Thank God no one died or even seriously injured.. The pilot indeed did a great job for keeping all the passengers safe.. He deserves to be honored and recognized..

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Great job by the pilot. Jet engines are tested almost to destruction by having blades severed at full power, and also for performance with a bird strike. They are run at full power and chickens (dead) are fired into the intakes. To be certified for flight they have to continue to run safely with a certain weight of bird fired in at a certain speed. In this case, a big bird would probably be too much to accept and the engine would fail. Even then an aircraft can fly on one engine. Yesterday, almost certainly both its engines were damaged, but it seems there was still some power available from at least one engine to managed a perfect ditching.

Posted by Bob | Report as abusive

With the engines down how was the crew able to fly the aircraft with the loss of hydraulics for the flight controls. Slower speeds may have made it easier! The crew should get a bounty for each life saved.

Posted by LRJ | Report as abusive

These geese should be stopped at the border by TSA. They have NO positive value at all. The only people who want htem are the PC’s.

Posted by WRB | Report as abusive

This pilot deserves the medal of honor. While his heroic act was not in the time of military service, he was a military trained pilot and thankfully, his training has paid off. Landing that plane in its belly saved those people by giving them enough time to stay a float and get out. And, unfortunately, there are jerks out there hyping the conspiracy theories that this was all a set up — WHATEVER! Those people need to get a hobby and an education!

Why can’t they create a bowl shaped grill that would preserve the engine preventing objects from entering?

Posted by Mary Bouman | Report as abusive

This was a fuel management error by the “hero” pilot, no birds involved.

Posted by DennisP | Report as abusive

My son is a pilot and I pray all the time for all pilots in the world.
he deserved mil of $ .
his name should be in history book teaching in school.
all people in the plane they were some how contected to each others lives .
god bless all of them

Last Sunday I hear a Evangelist say “You wanna see a group of people calling on God ? Well …Put them in a crashing plane and even the hardest of the atheist will call out to God.!!! This evangelist was almost in a crash a few years ago so he spoke from experience. I just saw one of the passengers saying almost the same thing as the Evangelist had said
The man said all the passengers were praying As passengers are being interviewed, they are GIVING GOD THE GLORY and saying it was a miracle that Captain Sully landed the plane I bet Captain Sully will say the he was only the co-pilot and GOD was in control. Sully is a hero and a”modern day Mosses”- The water did split on Sully but it served as landing strip and all the people in the plane, boats, buildings, cars, and on land were spared. Even the photo of the plane looks like a giant angel jutting out of the water with the passengers standing on his wings. Just Awesome !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
One reporter summed it up with this statement —“ Something “just” lined up in the universe to bring about this miracle” !!!—- well yeah IT WAS THE MAKER OF THE UNIVERSE HIMSELF AND AGAIN I SAY PRAISE BE TO GOD FOR HIS MERCY

Posted by Teressa Brown | Report as abusive

Does anyone know how deep the water is at that point in the river? From the photos I’ve seen, it almost looks as though the bottom of the tail of the plane is resting on the bottom. I’m just frankly amazed that an almost 80-ton airplane could actually float for that length of time.

Posted by pj anderson | Report as abusive

This was an inside job to divert the media attention away from the US funded atrocities in Gaza.

Posted by davros | Report as abusive

God bless that man there is so much news about murder and crime these days it is nice to here something good once and a while.

GOD BLESS YA,
connor

This man and the co–pilot are nothing short of good old-fashion American heros. It is nice to see something positive on the news today. Those above who have responded in negative ways should move to another country. I seriosly doubt the media has that much pull to arrange a “fixed” plane crash. Captain “Sully” and his crew are selfless heros and should be commended as such. God Bless them, their families and all on board, not to mention all 1st responders.If this was a “diversion”, what the hell was 9/11, you idiot!

the most unbelievable flying feat ever the captain should definately be honoured in the highest band

Posted by mike ridge | Report as abusive

You may think that it was a publicity stunt or the pilot did it for money but do you seriously think he/she would put so many peoples lives at risk including his own??? That pilot and co-pilot are amazing heroes and there is no way they would be able to pull off a stunt like that for the media. They should be very proud of themselves for helping so many people. Just thank god that everyone is still alive and well after the hurrendous week they have had.

Posted by Chloe | Report as abusive

Missing Engines
Ex-USAF Pilot
Flock of Birds in Winter
All survived
Hero “Sully” Sullenberger
Emotive survivors
Heroic pilot gave shirt off his back to keep passenger warm
Heart rendering survivor stories
No comment from the man of the moment (Sully)
Black box put on display for reporters (why?)
Something dodgy about this whole thing.

Posted by Bob | Report as abusive

I can imagine what the people in this miracle flight were thinking. The hands of the almighty was with them.
Many years ago in a flight that I was in out of the Phillipines made me think that it was the end. We took of three times and returned three times and on the last return we were told that they had to dump the fuel into the ocean. We stayed overnight until next day. We flew back on a different airplane. I think when it is your time, it is your time.

Posted by Jose Sierra | Report as abusive

I want to express that a week before xmas, I had a vivid dream of a gathering outside a river on a bright day and I remember the sun bouncing off downtown buildings, we were at some sort of parade or celebration everyone was happy we were all staring up at fireworks of some sort, then a clear image boom, a airplan fell from the sky into a body of water and it was and I quote the words in my dream “ferry boats” in the water, everyone scattered into neatby buildings , I then rememered peeking out and looking closely that an empty airplane sat in the water near a red ferry boat and I kept asking people how do i get back to the other side of some sort of either bridge or the place I was and they kept saying take the ferry across take the ferry, and the dream was so real,, I awoke and I told someone about the dream, time passed,,, and the day I saw the images of the hudson crash, I knew it was it, I had a vision of this and I want to share this with the world, God is real and powerful!!!

Posted by terri | Report as abusive