Five years ago, US Airways Flight 1549 struck a flock of Canada geese just after taking off from New York's LaGuardia Airport, resulting in both engines losing power and forcing Capt. Chesley B. “Sully” Sullenberger and his crew to glide the Airbus A320-214 to an unpowered crash landing in the Hudson River between New York and New Jersey.
The crash, widely referred to as the “Miracle on the Hudson,” resulted in no loss of life and only five minor injuries despite the freezing river. Moments after the crash of Flight 1549, nearby boats and ferries came to the rescue of the 150 passengers and five crewmembers. The rescue was said to be the “most successful ditching in aviation history,” NTSB board member Kitty Higgins told the New York Post.
Since then, attention has turned toward Capt. Sullenberger, who became a public figure and was a guest of the Obamas at the president's 2009 State of the Union speech in Congress, and toward whether or not he's considering running for political office in California. Despite encouragement from the public, "Sully" squashed the rumors in a statement provided to the San Francisco Chronicle:
“I believe I can best use my skills, experience and the public platform I have been given as an advocate for the traveling public and for promoting safety in general. I am not considering a run for public office.”
If not in public office, where is Capt. Sully now? Since the dramatic landing, he was awarded the Masters Medal by the Guild of Air Pilots and Air Navigators and has retired from US Airways in March 2010. Currently, Capt. Sullenberger continues to serve the aviation community through speaking engagements and consultant work. He has also authored two books, one of which, “Highest Duty: My Search for What Really Matters,” landed on a New York Times Best Sellers list.
According to the Associated Press, the crew of US Airways Flight 1549 and some of its passengers are expected to gather this Wednesday with some of the ferry crews who rescued them from the Hudson River on Jan. 15, 2009.
Take a look back, through photos below, at the events that transpired during Flight 1549’s “Miracle on the Hudson” and the journey to the plane’s final resting place at the Carolinas Aviation Museum in Charlotte, N.C.