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Hudson River plane crash

posted by Jason Kottke   Jan 15, 2009

A US Airways plane bound for Charlotte just crashed into the Hudson River after aborting its takeoff from LaGuardia Airport. It’s still sitting in the river, slowly sinking with people standing on the wings being rescued by ferries. Photos on Flickr.

Plane Crash

Update: Ferry rescue swarm. Very close-up photo of people standing on the wings waiting for rescue by Janis Krums.

Update: Here’s a screenshot from a flight tracker showing the altitude of the flight….1800, 2800, 3200, 2000, 1600, 1200, 1300, 400, 300… The flight tracker has since taken the data offline.

Update: Reports are that everyone is OK. !!! Here’s a nautical chart of the area in question showing the dept to be around 50 feet.

Update: Some media coverage at NY Times, CNN, and Gothamist. From the CNN article:

The plane approached the water at a gradual angle and made a big splash, according to a witness watching from an office building. “It wasn’t going particularly fast. It was a slow contact with the water that it made,” said the witness, Ben Vonklemperer. “It appeared not to have landing gear engaged. This was bigger than a puddle-jumper or sea plane. It was a silver aircraft and it basically just hit the water,” Vonklemperer added.

Update: They’re saying it’s a bird strike…sounds like a bird got sucked into an engine? Here’s another photo of people standing on the wings, waiting for rescue.

Update: Looks like they got everyone off and that the plane is sitting quite a bit lower in the water.

Plane Crash

Gothamist reports that the plane is being towed to Chelsea Piers.

Update: The NY Times has this helpful map:

Plane Crash Map

Also, an office mate (from Buzzfeed) just got back from checking out the plane and he said by the time he got to the river, the plane had past Christopher St. and when he left, it was pretty close to Canal St. and “moving amazingly fast”. (thx, scott)

Update: Another Flickr set of the plane floating in the river.

Update: Maybe this is what the crash looked like?

Wikipedia notes that water landings where everyone survives aren’t all that unusual, although this seems like a larger plane than most of the others noted.

In 1963, an Aeroflot Tupolev 124 ditched into the River Neva after running out of fuel. The aircraft floated and was towed to shore by a tugboat which it had nearly hit as it came down on the water. The tug rushed to the floating aircraft and pulled it with its passengers near to the shore where the passengers disembarked onto the tug; all 52 on board escaped without injuries. Survival rate was 100%

The flight details on FlightAware are back up. (thx, jesse)

Update: Here’s a brief video of Ethiopian Airlines Flight 961 which crashed in the Indian Ocean after being hijacked and running out of fuel.

125 out of 175 passengers died.

Update: On the always-timely MetaFilter, a bird strike researcher has some interesting things to say.

The first recorded birdstrike happened in 1908 to Orville Wright, no more than a few months after the first powered planeflights.

Surely years and not months… (thx, mike)

A live shot on the TV just now (6:00pm) reveals that the plane is now down at the Battery and they look like they’re trying to secure it or haul it out of the water (likely the former).

Update: A blogger at i’m not sayin, i’m just sayin mapped the plane’s location leading up to the crash using the info from FlightAware. Does anyone want to bang out a quick 3-D version in Google Earth that shows altitude as well?

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