US Airways Jet Down In Hudson River, All Thought Safe
A US Airways A320 with approximately 150 passengers and five crew went down in the Hudson River, near midtown Manhattan shortly before 3:45 pm, Thursday. US Airways held a press conference at 5:07 pm stating they believe that all passengers escaped the aircraft, alive. Flight 1549 was scheduled to depart New York's LaGuardia at 3:04 and reportedly departed Runway 04 at 3:26 pm for Charlotte. Early news reports -- yet to be confirmed -- indicate that less than four minutes into the flight, the pilot reported multiple bird strikes and was forced to ditch.
By 3:45 pm, the aircraft was visible floating in the river and appeared to be mostly, if not fully, intact as NY Waterways ferries and police boats swarmed the aircraft. Passengers could be seen both standing on the outboard left wing and seated in rafts amid floating debris, which appeared to be seat cushions. The water temperature was estimated to be near 40-degrees, the air temperature was near 20. By 3:59 pm, the aircraft's fuselage had disappeared below the water with just the top half of its vertical fin visible above the water line. But by 5:00, tug boats had attached lines and more of the aircraft was again visible above the water line.