5 year anniversary of Miracle on the Hudson - MyFoxAustin.com | KTBC Fox 7 | News, Weather, Sports

5 year anniversary of Miracle on the Hudson

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NEW YORK (MYFOXNY) - On January 15, 2009, a flight that had taken off from LaGuardia Airport was struck by a flock of geese disabling both engines.

US Airways Flight 1549 was in trouble. The captain, Chelsey 'Sully' Sullenberger, later said he had no choice but to aim for the icy Hudson River.

“It was clear early on that the only place that was large enough, wide enough, smooth enough to land a jet airline was the Hudson,” said Sullenberg.

The now retired pilot successfully made the water landing and became an instant hero.

All 155 passengers and crew survived.

Among the emergency personnel who responded to the splash landing was NY Waterway. Ferry Captain Vicent Lucante was quite was- quite literally- the first, first-responder on the scene.

“We had to figure out what we were going to do next. We had to see where we were going to position the ferry and start the rescue as we approached the plane people started coming out on the wings and on the life raft. We had never seen anything like that at all before. They looked up to us as this is our way out, said Lucante during FOX 5 morning program Good Day New York.

The 17-year veteran recalled as he arrived at his office when he witnessed the plane landing on the water. He ran out and hopped onto a NY Waterway ferry and headed out.

The experienced captain saw two young children and several adults on a life raft who were not wet and seemed to be OK.

"I had to make the decision to get the people who were wet on the plane first, "said Lucante who later returned for those on the raft.

Sullenberger, the flight crew, Lucante, along with NY Waterway ferry crew members and survivors will gather Wednesday afternoon to remember that remarkable day.

Capt. Sullenberger is expected to address the crowd at the NY Waterway Ferry Terminal in Hudson River Park at about 2:30 p.m. followed by a short ferry ride and a toast.
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