US Airways jet recovered from Hudson River

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Sunday, January 18, 2009

The occupants stand on the wings after the crash

Salvage crews have dragged US Airways Flight 1549 out of the Hudson River in New York City. The Airbus A320 performed a successful emergency landing on water on Thursday after losing power shortly after departing La Guardia Airport.

The aircraft was tied up at Nelson A. Rockefeller Park, Battery Park City for the last two days before the overnight lift. Efforts were complicated by strong currents and freezing temperatures, but the aircraft was successfully retrieved by a large crane from its Manhattan dock.

The lift was completed slowly to allow the flooded cabin to drain as it was raised. The waterlogged cockpit voice recorder and flight data recorder have been removed and sent to Washington.

When the plane was lifted, extensive damage to its underside was revealed. The aircraft's right engine remains attached and was retrieved with the aircraft, but the left separated. Sonar has located what is thought to be the engine on the riverbed.

The jet was landed on the Hudson by Captain Chesley Sullenberger, who is credited with saving the 155 passengers and crew on board. He testified that it was almost certainly birds ingested on both engines that brought down the jet.