Federal investigators are shedding more light on what happened just seconds before a U.S. airways flight went down in New York's Hudson River last Thursday.
It takes skill and experience to make this kind of a landing. Officials released spectacular video taken from security cameras on a Manhattan pier showing U.S. Airways flight 1549 landing on the Hudson River. The National Transportation Safety Board recounted the emergency call.
Kitty Higgins of the NTSB says, “the pilot responded "ahhh, we hit birds and lost thrust in both engines. We're turning back towards Laguardia.”
But there was no time to return. Crews have now removed the plane from the river's icy waters without damaging it. The Airbus A320 was almost entirely submerged next to a seawall in lower Manhattan where workers positioned a crane that would carry the million-pound jet onto a nearby barge.
Higgins went on to say, “we have to let the water drain and then, slowly lift the weight.”
Investigators say the jet's right engine is still attached, but divers and boats using sonar mapping are searching the murky, frigid waters for the other one. It could be up to 50 feet down ... obscured in the river's thick sediment. Officials are anxious to inspect the engines to see why the plane crashed so quickly ... within five-minutes of take-off. On Saturday, they released some 9-1-1 calls.
One caller says, “yeah, I'm witnessing an airplane. It's going down. It's on fire.
The 9-1-1 Where, where, where? The caller says, “I'm in the Bronx. It's turning. I don't know where it's gonna fall, though. The 9-1-1 operator says, “where are you, sir? The caller says, “oh my god!”
For the first time Saturday, the NTSB talked to pilot Chesley Sullenberger and his co-pilot who both compared the impact to a hard landing when it hit the water.
Higgins says, “the captain issued a one word command: evacuate.”
While Sullenberger has yet to speak publicly, his wife says it's all starting to sink in.
Lorrie Sullenberger, the Pilot's Wife says, for the first time, kind of the enormity of the situation really hit me, and it was actually the first time that I cried since the whole incident started. All 155-people on board survived.