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Here Are 24 Harrowing Pictures From The “Miracle On The Hudson” 10 Years Ago

Ten years ago today, Captain Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger safely maneuvered US Airways Flight 1549 into an emergency landing over the Hudson River, saving all 155 passengers in what became known as the Miracle on the Hudson.

Posted on January 15, 2019, at 1:23 p.m. ET

Circled in white, US Airways Flight 1549 descends on its way to an emergency ditching in the Hudson River on Jan. 15, 2009.
Trela Media / AP

Circled in white, US Airways Flight 1549 descends on its way to an emergency ditching in the Hudson River on Jan. 15, 2009.

On the afternoon of Jan. 15, 2009, US Airways Flight 1549 departed New York City’s LaGuardia Airport for Charlotte, North Carolina, before striking a flock of Canadian geese shortly after takeoff. At the moment of impact, both engines of the Airbus A320, carrying 150 passengers and five crew members, lost power over New York City and began to lose altitude.

After quickly realizing that the aircraft would not be able to reach any nearby airports, pilots Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger and Jeffrey Skiles made the decision to ditch the plane over the Hudson River, a risky emergency maneuver that entails gliding the aircraft to a stop over an open body of water.

What became known as the Miracle on the Hudson was hardly that. Sullenberger’s previous training and experience as a US Air Force fighter pilot had prepared him for such an emergency and he was able to use it to safely guide the plane to a landing on the Hudson River. Because of the quick thinking and action of the crew members, all 155 passengers aboard survived the crash landing.

These pictures show the harrowing scenes of the crash and the inspiring moments of relief in the days that followed.

Airline passengers wait to be rescued on the wings of a US Airways Airbus A320 jetliner.
Steven Day / AP

Airline passengers wait to be rescued on the wings of a US Airways Airbus A320 jetliner.

The US Airways plane floats in the water after crashing into the Hudson River.
Neilson Barnard / Getty Images

The US Airways plane floats in the water after crashing into the Hudson River.

A New York City Fire Department boat pulls the floating plane after the crash.
Mario Tama / Getty Images

A New York City Fire Department boat pulls the floating plane after the crash.

Rescue workers watch as the US Airways plane floats in the water after crashing into the Hudson River.
Neilson Barnard / Getty Images

Rescue workers watch as the US Airways plane floats in the water after crashing into the Hudson River.

A firefighter helps survivor Claudette Mason after being brought to a pier.
New York Daily News Archive / Getty Images

A firefighter helps survivor Claudette Mason after being brought to a pier.

Left: A victim of US Airways Flight 1549 makes it to Pier 79 after being shuttled in by a water taxi. Right: A police boat prepares to rescue passengers on the shore.
Getty Images

Left: A victim of US Airways Flight 1549 makes it to Pier 79 after being shuttled in by a water taxi. Right: A police boat prepares to rescue passengers on the shore.

EMS personnel remove a passenger from the downed plane at West 23rd Street and West Side Highway.
New York Daily News Archive / Getty Images

EMS personnel remove a passenger from the downed plane at West 23rd Street and West Side Highway.

Police remove a survivor from the downed plane.
New York Daily News Archive / Getty Images

Police remove a survivor from the downed plane.

A passenger is transported at 40th and 12th Avenue in Manhattan.
New York Daily News Archive / Getty Images

A passenger is transported at 40th and 12th Avenue in Manhattan.

Passengers are helped by police and firefighters after being brought to a pier.
New York Daily News Archive / Getty Images

Passengers are helped by police and firefighters after being brought to a pier.

Left: A crew member of US Airways Flight 1549 is transported from a Hudson River terminal. Right: Victims comfort each other after being shuttled in by a water taxi.
Getty Images

Left: A crew member of US Airways Flight 1549 is transported from a Hudson River terminal. Right: Victims comfort each other after being shuttled in by a water taxi.

Members of the Coast Guard inspect the downed plane.
Shannon Stapleton / Reuters

Members of the Coast Guard inspect the downed plane.

New York governor David A. Paterson, with New York City mayor Michael R. Bloomberg at his side, speaks to the media Jan. 15, 2009.
Daniel Barry / Getty Images

New York governor David A. Paterson, with New York City mayor Michael R. Bloomberg at his side, speaks to the media Jan. 15, 2009.

Michael Mills and his wife, Beverly, after she arrives at Charlotte Douglas International Airport in Charlotte, North Carolina, on Jan. 16, 2009. Beverly Mills was on US Airways Flight 1549.
Chuck Burton / AP

Michael Mills and his wife, Beverly, after she arrives at Charlotte Douglas International Airport in Charlotte, North Carolina, on Jan. 16, 2009. Beverly Mills was on US Airways Flight 1549.

Crash survivor Dave Sanderson hugs his daughters at Charlotte Douglas International Airport after returning home the day following the crash.
New York Daily News Archive / Getty Images

Crash survivor Dave Sanderson hugs his daughters at Charlotte Douglas International Airport after returning home the day following the crash.

A slide is displayed during witness testimony at a hearing regarding US Airways Flight 1549 on June 9, 2009, at a National Transportation Safety Board hearing in Washington, DC.
Charles Dharapak / AP

A slide is displayed during witness testimony at a hearing regarding US Airways Flight 1549 on June 9, 2009, at a National Transportation Safety Board hearing in Washington, DC.

A wildlife management officer fires a nonlethal pyrotechnic round to disperse birds from the runways and surrounding areas at Logan International Airport in Boston, Massachusetts, on Jan. 16, 2009.
John Tlumacki / AP

A wildlife management officer fires a nonlethal pyrotechnic round to disperse birds from the runways and surrounding areas at Logan International Airport in Boston, Massachusetts, on Jan. 16, 2009.

Rescue workers of US Airways Flight 1549 attend the ringing of the NASDAQ opening bell in Times Square on Jan. 20, 2009, in New York City.
Duffy-Marie Arnoult / WireImage

Rescue workers of US Airways Flight 1549 attend the ringing of the NASDAQ opening bell in Times Square on Jan. 20, 2009, in New York City.

Flight attendant Doreen Welsh (left), pilot Chesley Sullenberger, and copilot Jeffrey Skiles are honored at a New York Yankees preseason exhibition game April 4, 2009.
Chuck Solomon / Getty Images

Flight attendant Doreen Welsh (left), pilot Chesley Sullenberger, and copilot Jeffrey Skiles are honored at a New York Yankees preseason exhibition game April 4, 2009.

Crew, rescuers, and passengers of US Airways Flight 1549 are taken out to the site of the crash during a reunion to mark the one-year anniversary on Jan.15, 2010.
Chris McGrath / Getty Images

Crew, rescuers, and passengers of US Airways Flight 1549 are taken out to the site of the crash during a reunion to mark the one-year anniversary on Jan.15, 2010.

Sullenberger sits in the cockpit of a US Airways flight moments before takeoff from LaGuardia Airport on his first official day back in the cockpit, Oct. 1, 2009, in New York City.
Pool / Getty Images

Sullenberger sits in the cockpit of a US Airways flight moments before takeoff from LaGuardia Airport on his first official day back in the cockpit, Oct. 1, 2009, in New York City.

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