Eyewitness News had extensive breaking news coverage on-air and online as soon as word of the water landing hit our newsroom that cold afternoon.
Re-watch our coverage from that day, pulled from our vast video archive, in the player above.
The event made Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger a household name after the courageous captain and his crew piloted the crippled jet and made an unthinkable belly-first landing on the frigid waters of the Hudson.
"It's hard to believe that this Friday, January 15, will mark the 12th anniversary of #Flight1549," Sullenberger wrote in a Twitter thread. "It was a day when unforeseen crisis impacted the lives of many & forced passengers, crew members & first responders to overcome the unknown by doing one thing: working together."
1/7 It’s hard to believe that this Friday, January 15, will mark the 12th anniversary of #Flight1549. It was a day when unforeseen crisis impacted the lives of many & forced passengers, crew members & first responders to overcome the unknown by doing one thing: working together. pic.twitter.com/3AtZmvpWAM— Sully Sullenberger (@Captsully) January 10, 2021
2/7 This is something I have been reminded of often over the past several months, and especially in recent days as we’ve witnessed the extreme effects of polarization within our country come to an unimaginable peak.— Sully Sullenberger (@Captsully) January 10, 2021
3/7 Our world has become consumed by many different crises, from the global pandemic, to racial injustices, to the recent events of incitement of insurrection in our nation’s Capitol.— Sully Sullenberger (@Captsully) January 10, 2021
4/7 Now more than ever, we must unify as one community and work together to protect the safety of our fellow citizens.— Sully Sullenberger (@Captsully) January 10, 2021
5/7 Crisis--regardless of the form it takes--impacts each person differently. I want to be a resource for those who are seeking tools and guidance. I’d like to understand what questions, challenges or general thoughts others have about managing crisis during these times.— Sully Sullenberger (@Captsully) January 10, 2021
6/7 Please reach out with your questions, challenges or general thoughts about managing crisis during these times. In response, I will be sharing my personal insights about navigating crisis in a blog post this Friday, on this year's anniversary of Flight 1549.— Sully Sullenberger (@Captsully) January 10, 2021
7/7 When we remember our common humanity and work together, there is little we cannot accomplish.— Sully Sullenberger (@Captsully) January 10, 2021
Miraculously, all 155 people on board were rescued. But watching a plane with people standing on the wings in freezing temperatures floating down the Hudson was a sight many could not believe -- or forget.
Our live coverage continued with extensive coverage from the ground and in the air. Watch part 2 here:
Hours later, Mayor Michael Bloomberg gave an update. You can watch it here:
Our team coverage continued at 7 p.m. that night. Watch it here:
We followed that special report with in-depth reporting at 11 p.m. that night:
Check out photos of the scene of the landing here:
Flight 1549 had just taken off from LaGuardia Airport for Charlotte, North Carolina, when a flock of geese disabled the engines.
Circling west and then over the George Washington Bridge, the plane with 150 passengers and five crew members glided to a water landing.
"I saw half the plane submerged in the water and was just astounded by the miraculous event that just occurred and was just thankful, just absolutely thankful," passenger Ian Wells said.
Those on board then began moving precariously out onto both wings in what has become an iconic picture.
"I went out and slipped off the wing and went into the water," passenger Eileen Shleffar said.
Watching the unbelievable drama unfold, ferry captains from New York Waterways then became the first to reach the plane and began rescuing people.
Captain Vince Lombardi's boat was the first.
"It just goes to prove what discipline and hard work and teamwork, how successful it turns out," he said.
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