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Living in New York and talking about travel as much as we do, it's inevitable that the "Miracle on the Hudson" come up in conversation. Heck, we ran down the river on a blistery January day just to glimpse the thing. Still, everyone seems to have one question now: "what's Sully up to?"
Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger, for those who've been living under a very heavy rock the last few years, was the captain of US Airways flight 1549 who successfully executed a water landing on the Hudson River with no loss of life, after bird strikes took out the Airbus A320's engines. He went on to fly again, but not for long. Sully retired just over a year later, in 2010, and went on to do a whole number of things (indeed, Wikipedia has a whole section just on his post-Miracle events and awards).
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North Carolina’s state motto is “First in Flight,” and the state that once hosted the Wright Brothers’ first flight now houses an aviation museum. While the Wrights’ plane flew in Kitty Hawk, the Carolinas Aviation Museum is located in the more convenient—and booming—city of Charlotte, just down the road from the airport. The location wasn’t just chosen for proximity, though—the planes live in a retired airplane hangar.
Among the aircraft you’ll see are a military jet that rescued American soldiers in Vietnam, a plane from now-defunct Piedmont Air, and one of the planes used in Top Gun. (They’re pretty sure Tom Cruise never sat in it, but that could be a plus.) However, the star of the show is a US Airways Airbus 320, otherwise known as the "Miracle on the Hudson" plane.
In case you need a refresher, it was in January 2009 that this plane left New York-LaGuardia airport en route to Charlotte, suffered bird strikes and failures of both engines, forcing it to make an emergency landing in the Hudson River. Piloted by Captain Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger, the plane and its passengers escaped almost-certain disaster and became a worldwide news story, with the plane’s crew invited to attend President Barack Obama’s inauguration and to greet the crowd at the Super Bowl.
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Ever since Flight 1549 unexpectedly found itself in the Hudson River thanks to some pesky geese, there has been much made about getting birds away from runways to avoid a similar situation. Suggestions have included sound makers, nets, and even plans to just fill in waterways in order to relocate flocks of feathers anywhere but near an airport. Now there’s another option that airports are thinking about...
The latest plan would involve New York City officials collecting unwanted airport birds—primarily Canada Geese—and shipping them off to Pennsylvania. Upon arrival in the Keystone State, the birds will be cooked and fed to those in need of a warm meal. Apparently the Department of Environmental Protection is all in favor of this plan, as they’re thinking utilizing the birds as food is probably better than just getting rid of them by tossing them into a landfill. We guess they’re right, but it still seems just a little odd.
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It’s been a long journey—including some tight turns in New Jersey and a pretty big surprise landing in New York—but flight Flight 1549 has finally arrived at its scheduled destination of Charlotte, North Carolina.
On Friday afternoon the plane finally pulled into Charlotte-Douglas International Airport and was greeted to a water jet shower thanks to the airport trucks on hand to welcome it. The plane has since pulled into a hangar at the Carolinas Aviation Museum—it’s final resting place—and was on hand Saturday evening for an event to welcome it back home. Passengers from the flight—along with everyone’s favorite hero pilot—were there to see the plane from which they so thankfully escaped backed in January 2009.
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Flight 1549—aka The Miracle on the Hudson—is now on its way to a more permanent home in Charlotte, but getting there is proving to be quite a challenge. That’s because this time it’s taking the highway, and there are definitely a few bridges and byways not designed with an Airbus A320 in mind.
Like all good road trips along the East Coast, those involved with moving the plane decided to get a head start over the weekend and changed the original departure date of today up to Saturday. It’s unfortunately not just a straight shot down I-95, as the trailer that’s carrying the plane—it was custom designed for its unique load—is trying to navigate smaller streets and tight turns.
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Technically tomorrow is the exact anniversary, but tonight's a Friday night and we're looking for an excuse to toast a shot of Grey Goose.
Do you remember where you were when US Airways Flight 1549 from New York-LaGuardia to Charlotte only made it as far as the Hudson River, ditching into the water after bird strikes took out both engines? We dowe were working, but then threw on our boots and walked about a mile in the 10-degree air and slush to get as close to it as possible, just to see the Airbus A320 still floating and being slowly tugged over to the side of the river.
All 155 passengers and crew survived, with only 5 bad injuries despite the fact that they glided on no power, then freaking landed in a freezing river. Last year on the anniversary, they all came back to the city and took a boat out to the spot where they faced one of the most harrowing moments of their lives. There they enjoyed a little party, celebrating the fact that they were alive, thanks to the actions of their calm and quick-thinking pilot Chelsey "Sully" Sullenberger. Since there's no such shindig this year, let's look back on what's happened since that historic day:
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Believe it or not, January 15th marks the two-year anniversary since US Airways pilot Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger successfully water-landed his Airbus A320 on New York's Hudson River after a bird strike took down both of the plane's engines. All 155 crew and passengers onboard survived and thus Flight 1549 became known as the "Miracle on the Hudson." Sully retired almost a year ago, but the battered fuselage hasn't yet reached such a peaceful conclusion; it's been up for auction (mainly for parts) since last January, and it may finally have found a buyer.
According to Gothamist, this piece of aviation history could end up in a place where all are welcome to come and see it:
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This upcoming January 2011, it'll be a whole two years since US Airways Flight 1549 suffered a bird strike just after leaving LaGuardia Airport, which shut down all its engines and forced the plane to land in the Hudson River, with no fatalities. Now better known as "The Miracle on the Hudson," Flight 1549 got the attention of the world, a book deal for its pilot "Sully" Sullenberger, and a vodka party for all the passengers on its first anniversary. But that's not all!
While walking down 6th Avenue in Manhattan the other day, we did a double-take when a NY Waterways bus drove by, and we spotted an advertisement on its side for the "Miracle on the Hudson." What are they selling? Are they actually trying to make some money off this accident? You see, the NY Waterways ferries were the first responders on the scene when the plane dropped in the drink, as they were making their usual rounds Hudson River trips between New Jersey and Manhattan. So now, apparently, the ferry company is trying to take their hero role to the bank.
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Today marks the end of a great career in aviation as US Airways pilot Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger retires. Granted, the man who is an expert on aviation safety and also a glider pilot wasn't known to the public until he was lauded as a hero after safely landing US Airways Flight 1549 on the Hudson River with no loss of life after bird strikes took out both of the plane's engines.
After that event (which occurred over a year ago, in January 2009), Sully did the talk show circuit, wrote a book, gave speeches, testified to aviation officials, and even returned to the controls as a regular US Airways pilot in October 2009. But now, the 59-year-old Sullenberger, who's been working for US Airways since 1980, is getting out while the getting is good. Also retiring is the 59-year-old flight attendant onboard the Miracle of the Hudson; she has been with US Airways since 1970. She may not have a book out to ride the sales of, but she deserves it just as much as Sully.
We're sort of sad that US Airways is losing a knowledgeable pilot like Sully, but good luck to them both!
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Anybody looking to develop a new roadside attraction? Have we got the deal for you! The now-infamous Airbus 320 of US Airways Flight 1549which performed a flawless emergency water landing after a bid strike took out its enginesis up for auction.
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On Friday, all 155 crew and passengers who were onboard US Airways Flight 1549 a year ago will celebrate still being alive, since that was the plane that safely landed in the Hudson River after a bird strike knocked out all of its engines.
Has it been a year already? We guess so, since Captain Sully has his book out, he's back to flying, the passengers finally got their luggage back (soggy, but still), and the talk shows are over having them on TV as guests. But damnit, they're still going to let their hair down and celebrate the fact that they didn't die in a horrific plane crash a year ago, so they're all heading back to New York City on Friday for a day of ceremonies to commemorate the occasion.
He got a book deal, he met the president, he got the key to the city and now Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger is getting the keys to his airplane back. The hero pilot of US Airways Flight 1549, which landed in the Hudson River after goose strikes knocked out the plane's engines, returns to work today at US Airways and will fly on his old route between LGA and Charlotte.
It's been almost ten whole months since the accident, and US Airways is obviously ready to resume business as usual. Sully will not only fly the same LaGuardia-to-Charlotte route that was Flight 1549, but will do it with the same first officer, Jeffrey Skiles. Now we're all for welcoming Sully back to the skies, especially since he'd be the pilot you'd want to have in control in case anything goes wrong, but piecing together much of the same scene from the accident doesn't make avoiding stress and flashbacks any easier.