Helicopter pilot who landed on Hudson flies again

July 8, 2013 2:25:44 PM PDT
The hero helicopter pilot who made an emergency landing in the Hudson River last week is back up in the air.

He retraced his route in the sky and talked about the moment he heard a boom and knew it was the real deal.

After spending time in the sky with Pilot Mike Campbell, you understand why he was so unflappable when the engine on his bell helicopter suddenly failed.

He's a natural who says he didn't have a second thought about getting behind the controls again.

"It was a beautiful, sunny day like this one, not too many people in the air," said Mike Campbell, a helicopter pilot.

It started out as a routine ride up the Hudson. 22-year-old NY Helicopter pilot Mike Campbell has flown it countless times with tourists.

"This is where we were flying, around Statue of Liberty, northbound," Campbell said.

On board with him, was a family of four Swedish tourists, who minutes later, would walk away from an emergency landing, thanks to the pilot's steady hand.

"So you just heard a boom?" Eyewitness News investigative reporter Sarah Wallace asked.

"Yes, and I knew it was the real deal," Campbell said.

"What was the sound like?" Wallace asked.

"Like two cars crashing," Campbell said, "It sounded like two cars crashing together."

"Did you know your engine had failed?" Wallace asked.

"Yeah," Campbell said, "Training kicks in, the flotation devices are right here."

He put out a mayday call.

"I could hear a little nerves, but I was trying to be calm," Campbell said, "You know if you don't do it right, it's not going to go well, you just have to have faith."

The emergency landing, right by the 79th Street Boat Basin was deliberate on his part.

"I chose the boat basin because of easy access to rescuers," Campbell said.

"What was the impact like?" Wallace asked.

"You know, like hitting the water after a water slide," Campbell said, "After we hit I made sure everyone was OK. I could see the boats coming."

And yes, the "Miracle on the Hudson", that safe landing by Sully Sullenberger, did go through his mind.

"It definitely was a mini-miracle," Campbell said.