"We're gonna be in the Hudson." That was the final communication from pilot Chesley Sullenberger before he crash-landed a US Airways jetliner into freezing waters off Manhattan on Jan. 15.
WASHINGTON — “We’re gonna be in the Hudson.”
That was the final communication from pilot Chesley Sullenberger before he crash-landed a US Airways jetliner into freezing waters off Manhattan on Jan. 15.
Transcripts and audio segments released Thursday by the Federal Aviation Administration show controllers trying to divert the plane back to an open runway at LaGuardia Airport, from which it had just departed, or a nearby airport. Sullenberger is heard calmly firing back answers to controller’s questions, telling them the plane won’t make it.
“We can’t do it,” he says.
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“Sorry, say again, Cactus,” the controller says, in a coded reference to the airplane.
“We’re gonna be in the Hudson,” he responds.
Then communication with the plane was lost.
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has said Sullenberger told investigators the plane struck a flock of birds, causing the engines to lose power, just moments after taking off from La Guardia. All 155 passengers and crew members were rescued after the crash landing by boats on the river.
Recovered black-box recorders, engine damage and other evidence gathered by NTSB investigators have pointed to a bird strike as the cause of the accident.
The incident, dubbed almost immediately after it happened the “Miracle on the Hudson,” has yet to emerge from the media spotlight.
The five-member crew is about to embark on a New York City media blitz, and will give their first full account of the ordeal on Sunday’s “60 Minutes.”
The rest of the crew consisted of co-pilot Jeff Skiles and flight attendants Doreen Walsh, Sheila Dail and Donna Dent.
On Monday, they will appear on two network morning shows, and interviews with other network shows are being negotiated.
The morning-show barrage will be followed by a midday news conference in New York where the crew will be given keys to the city.