Investigation of Plane Landing in Hudson River

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An investigation is underway in New York City, to determine exactly what brought a U. S. Airways plane down. Thursday, the plane, with its 155 passengers, splashed into the Hudson River. Amazingly, everyone survived.

Investigators spent the day looking for the plane's two missing engines and trying to remove it's voice recorders or black boxes, but Friday's frigid weather conditions in New York City made that very difficult.

Friday, the tail of the U-S Airways plane was still sticking up from the Hudson River, what you can't see is all the activity going on underneath. "We had made an effort to remove the recorders while the plane was in the water, but that was not possible," said NTSB's Kitty Higgins.

The NTSB says both engines broke off the plane sometime after the crash and sank to the bottom of the river, forcing investigators to use sonar equipment to search for them in the bone chilling water. The current was swift, making it impossible for crews to hoist the aircraft out of the water and remove it's flight data recorder and cockpit voice recorder.

Friday, investigators were able to interview the flight crew and plan to talk to pilots - Jeff Skiles and Captain Chesley Sullenberger Saturday. Sullenberger's wife, who briefly spoke to reporters in California, says she's not surprised at her husband's quick thinking.

"I always knew this is how he would react. So to me this is not something unusual. It's the man I know, to be the consummate professional," Lori Sullenberger said.

Many are calling Sullenberger's actions heroic, including New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg who said he will present a key to the city for the pilots and crew.

Investigators plan to hoist the plane from the river Saturday morning. They plan to put it on a barge and take it in for analysis. Investigators want to closely examine the engine to figure out exactly how the birds caused the plane to fail so badly and fast. They may even examine the bird feathers to determine the type of bird species to help prevent these problems in the future.

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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