News: Reunion for Hudson River Plane Survivors
(Long Island, N.Y.) A reunion will be held in Charlotte, North Carolina, the destination city of US Airways Flight 1549, which landed in the Hudson River in January of 2009. North Carolina, associated with the phrase “First in Flight,” has a long history of aviation miracles. The state will get one more on June 6th when the damaged Airbus A320 is transported to the Carolinas Aviation Museum.
During what is now known as the “Miracle on the Hudson” the Charlotte-bound aircraft experienced engine trouble less than two minutes into the flight. The National Transport Safety Board claimed that a flock of Canadian geese had disabled the engine. All 155 passengers survived after the clutch landing, which enabled them to line up on the wings before being taken in by ferries on inflatable rafts.
The extraordinary pilot will be the guest speaker at a fundraiser designed to help support the museum’s Flight 1549 exhibit. He has been named the aviation and safety expert for CBS news. In the true fashion of a hero, he refused to leave the plane until all passengers had reached safety.
For the last two-and-a-half years the plane has been stored in a hangar outside Newark, New Jersey by a company called Supor and Sons. The company, which specializes in large-scale moving and salvaging, has donated their service and a trailer to transport the plane. The wings of the plane had to be detached for a separate journey, which will total 650 miles and be the equivalent of a two-hour flight.
The plane will be put on permanent display once movers can find a feasible route that doesn’t come across any narrow lane dividers or toll booths. On June 11th the museum will provide a private viewing of the exhibit for the passengers of the flight. Exhibits often cost millions of dollars, making the museum’s fundraisers a central part of maintaining the display.
For the survivors, coming in contact with the damaged aircraft will be a surreal experience, and many hope that the viewing will provide them with a sense of closure. Some survivors claimed that they suffered from post-traumatic stress following the extreme landing. Several smaller reunions have been held for passengers, but the Charlotte reunion will unite them with both the plane and pilot.
In attempt to lighten the evening, some of the reunions served Grey Goose vodka as a reference to what originated the events in their fortuitous survival stories. At least two passengers began dating after attending the reunions, and several others have kept in touch. The exhibit will do a meticulous job in depicting the aircraft exactly how it looked like coming out of the water.
Exhibit workers plan on repairing any dents and damage to the aircraft that didn’t come from the perils of Flight 1549. Viewers will get the opportunity to see the display even while the mechanics work on the exhibit. At least one enthusiast, David A. Paterson, claimed that the “Miracle on the Hudson” was his happiest day as governor.