The reactions of all members of the crew, the split second decision making and the handling of this emergency and evacuation was 'text book' and an example to us all. To have safely executed this emergency ditching and evacuation, with the loss of no lives, is a heroic and unique aviation achievement.”
Guild of Air Pilots and Air Navigators
On January 15, 2009, after taking off from LaGuardia airport in New York City, an Airbus 320 struck a flock of birds and was forced to land in the Hudson River. The remarkable calm and skills of the pilot and crew have become an inspiration to people around the world.
With the loss of both engines and only seconds to make critical decisions at 3000 feet (914 m) above the river, all the training and preparation of everyone involved came into play. The pilot, copilot and crew had logged many hours of flight time and it was their steady demeanor that helped the passengers remain calm during an intense situation. The remarkable result was that all 155 persons on board survived with reports of only relatively minor injuries.
Additionally, the first responders from the ferry boats nearby acted quickly and employed their extensive training to make sure everyone got to shore safely.
No one involved had ever experienced anything quite like this and yet their countless hours of experience combined to achieve an inspiring and successful rescue which will serve as an example for years to come of the value of Preparation…Pass It On.