life in and around NYC is insane

Thursday, January 15, 2009

a front row seat to the news

If I walk over to the window and look north, I can see the plane crash site.I can see the fireboats and ferries, and lots of rescue vehicles on both sides of the river. At first I couldn't see the plane itself, but now that they're towing it, it's become visible.

A US Airways jet crashed landed into the Hudson River near Manhattan this afternoon, plunging its approximately 150 crew and passengers into freezing waters after apparently hitting a flock of geese. The plane was submerged in the icy waters up to the windows, and rescue crews had opened the door and were pulling passengers in yellow life vests from the plane. Several boats surrounded the plane, which appeared to be slowly sinking. An armada of boats, including at least five commuter ferries, as well as firefighters, federal officials rushed to the scene before the Airbus A320 could sink into the murky depths. The plane crashed in the area of The USS Intrepid, near 43rd Street, on Manhattan's West side shortly after it took off at 3:26 p.m. from LaGuardia Airport. It was unclear how many people were able to escape. “Prepare for impact" - all that was said by the pilot before the landed in the river according to passenger Alberto Panero in a phone interview with CNN's Wolf Blitzer. "Somehow the plane stayed afloat and we were all able to get on the raft," said Panero. "Some people were on the wings and had to wait there but most of the people were able to get on the raft." "I don't even know how to put it into words right now," he said. "I actually grabbed one of the seats, that was the first thing that came to my mind. Some people grabbed the inflatable one. Immediately there were folks coming to us and throwing life jackets to us and helping us get to safety." "There were a couple of people who took charge and started yelling for everyone to calm down," he said. "Once people everyone realized we were going to be ok, they settled down." "I can't say 100% but I'm pretty sure everyone was able to get off," he said. "It was just like a car crash, the impact." "I saw it hit the river," a caller who witnessed the crash told WNBC Thursday. "It just came crashing down into the river. I was wondering why it came down so low; there's no airport around here."
Ferry boats surround a US Airways aircraft that has gone down in the Hudson River in New York, Thursday Jan. 15, 2009. It was not immediately clear if there were injuries.
WNBC's Tim Minton said a pilot had reported he'd hit a flock of geese. One report said the geese may have disabled two of the engines.
The plane was en route to Charlotte, N.C., and had 146 passengers and five crew members aboard.
"I'm on the 27th floor of my building, sitting on my couch," another viewer told WNBC. "I got up and said, 'Oh my God, they're gonna land in the river.' I watched the whole thing." "I saw what appeared to be a tail fin of a plane sticking out of the water," said Erica Schietinger, whose office windows at Chelsea Piers look out over the Hudson. "All the boats have sort of circled the area. ... I can't tell what's what at this point." Experts said that Canadian geese are one of a pilots worst nightmares. A 4-pound bird exerts more than 6 tons of force if hit by a plane traveling 200 mph -- some geese weigh up to 15 pounds. A U.S. Air Force plane crashed during takeoff at Elmendorf Air Force Base in Alaska in 1995 after a collision with geese. Twenty-four people died. Birds caused another Air Force plane to crash during its approach to a runway in the Netherlands in 1996, killing 34 people.


Suzanne said...

You watched it too? A friend works at at one of buildings down in the Battery and he said he was watching it.

Scary stuff, but what an awesome job the pilot did! Doesn't help my paranoia about flying into or out of LGA, though.

songbird's crazy world said...

Of course we watched it. It's a bit ghoulish, but turned into the Miracle on the Hudson, didn't it?

I really don't like flying into or out of LGA, the runways are so close to the water....

Blog Archive

About Me