FAA Investigators Interview Katersky

January 17, 2009 12:00:00 AM PST
Investigators are releasing critical details about what happened to the u-s airways flight that crashed into the Hudson River in New York Thursday.Federal investigators interviewed the plane's pilot today and heard air traffic control tapes where he told controllers to look for the plane in the water. He told them he landed there quote: "to avoid catastrophic consequences."

Crane operators tried to slowly hoist the aircraft from the icy Hudson River , a painstaking operation meant to preserve the fuselage recover the black boxes.

"The lifting of the plane, the recovery of the plane is underway. That's been delayed because of the weather," said NTSB Board Member Kitty Higgins.

NTSB officials began interviewing the pilot, Chesley Sullenberger, and his co-pilot for the first time. "The controller asked if the pilot wanted to land at LaGuardia on runway 13. The pilot responded, we are unable, we may end up in the Hudson."

Sullenberger safely guided the crippled aircraft into the Hudson River after bird strikes caused a total failure in both engines.

911 call: "There is a plane on the Hudson. It looks like it was crashing."

The masterful crash landing saved 155 lives, and the entire nation, including his wife, praised the pilot.

"I have said for a long time he is a pilot's pilot and he loves the art of the airplane," said Lorraine Sullenberger, the pilot's wife.

"It's very good decision making, it's executing that plan, executing it well," said former U.S. Airways Captain John Cox.

These dramatic pictures were taken moments after the crash landing, as passengers scrambled out of the plane and onto the wings and into the icy water and were then taken onshore by an armada of river boats another part of what's being called the Miracle on the Hudson.

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