Investigators begin probe of Hudson River plane crash
A team of 20 National Transportation Safety Board investigators is now probing what caused a US Airways plane to crash into the Hudson River.Both engines on the Airbus A320 cut out around 3:30 p.m. Thursday. According to investigators, it appears the jet was hit by a flock of geese less than one minute after takeoff. The pilot, Chesley B. "Sully" Sullenberger III of Danville, Calif., reported a "double bird strike" to an air traffic controller in Westbury.All 155 people on Flight 1549 from LaGuardia Airport to Charlotte, N.C. survived the crash, with Gov. David Paterson calling the incident "a miracle on the Hudson."
NTSB spokeswoman Kitty Higgins told reporters Friday that the plane?s engines are no longer attached to the aircraft, but divers are looking for them. NTSB officials say it?s unclear when the engines separated from the plane. Officials plan on trying to remove the plane from the water Saturday morning, before putting it on a barge and removing the flight data recorder and cockpit voice recorder.
Authorities will use video as part of the investigation and Higgins says they plan to test the bird DNA recovered to find out what kind of birds hit the plane.
Officials and passengers on the plane are praising Sullenberger for his quick thinking during the near-disaster.Joe Hart, a passenger from Massapequa, said Sullenberger "floated" the jet into the river and that his performance was "phenomenal."Mayor Michael Bloomberg called the landing "masterful."As soon as the NTSB investigation is completed, Bloomberg says he intends to honor Sullenberger and the crew with a key to the city.
Water taxis and ferries near the site came to the aid of the crash victims. Crews from the Circle Line Ferry also helped in the rescue of passengers. On Friday, Bloomberg presented rescuers with certificates of appreciation.
AP wires contributed to this report.US Air plane plunges into Hudson, everyone survives Watch:Air traffic control map of Flight 1549's path
Extended footage of Mayor Bloomberg's news conference
Some survivors of the crash share their stories with News 12
News 12?s Andrew Ehinger reports from LaGuardia Airport soon after the crash
Ex-Port Authority chief Bruce Blakeman talks to News 12 about rescue effort
News 12's Jackie Lucas reports from ferry terminal on Manhattan?s west side
Interview with Dowling College?s dean of aviation
Eyewitness account of crash, interviews with hospital official and aviation expert
Chopper 12 footage of plane crash site
Links:U.S. Airways Press Release on Flight 1549FAAFlightAware- Flight TrackerNYWaterway