Sunday, January 18, 2009

Coast Guard Video of the Impact, and Rescue Footage

(Updates: (3) New video, below)
Below is Coast Guard video footage of the actual landing of Flight 1549 in the Hudson River, taken from the New Jersey side of the river. You begin to see the plane impact the water at just after 2 minutes into the filming, with the "splash-down" occurring at 3:31:02 pm, at least according to the Coast Guard clock.

In the lower left foreground, you can the piering from what may be the Port Imperial Ferry Terminal in Weehawken, New Jersey, jutting out into the river. The plane apparently impacted approximately between the Terminal and about 50th Street in Manhattan. As reported by John Hughes at Bloomberg, apparently only one of the engines (logically, the right one) jarred loose and broke off on impact with the water, as the plane canted left a bit, facing it a bit toward Manhattan. If the left engine remained intact, that would have given a bit more drag to the left side, thus contributing to the slight turning of the plane toward Manhattan.

Immediately on landing, the pilot, Capt. Chesley Sullenberger III, who also runs a safety expertise company (a link to his full profile can be found on his site), reportedly immediately ordered everyone to "Evacuate." Bear in mind that this was a plane with a full fuel tank, and no one knew whether a fire would ensue, as one of the engines had been burning on decent. No one knew of the wings would hold either, helping to keep it afloat.

It is very striking is how quickly passengers and crew were climbing out onto the wing of the jet following an order to evacuate -- as the Coast Guard video focuses in you can see that several had already scrambled onto the right wing within 40 seconds of impact, at 3:31:40 pm, with others quickly walking out after them onto the left wing!

You can also see that the first rescue boat was a ferry which travelled up river, turning toward the plane and reached the right side and wing of the jet within 4 minutes of the impact! Two other ferries coming from the New Jersey bank reach the downed jet and passengers on the left side very quickly as well. Soon thereafter, it was surrounded by Coast Guard boats, police tugs and a host of other waterborn vehicles.

The plane may actually have impacted on the New Jersey side of the Hudson, as the border is a bit closer to Manhattan at that point.

(h.t. Powerline, here.)

This video, also posted earlier on Powerline, was taken from the Manhattan pier side showing the final second and actual impact, and later some of the early boat rescue efforts. Note the guy up along the bow rail in the of the ferry boat tossing life vests to passengers on the wings.

Below is video of the NBC Evening News coverage of the event. It shows, among other things, the path the plane took from takeoff at New York's LaGuadia Aitport, to the impact minutes later in the Hudson River. It also shows emergency vehicles surrounding the plane as it floated south with the current, where it was eventually guided by tugs, mooring at a Battery Park pier several miles from the point of impact.

Update: 1/21/09 (CBS News CBS News footage here showing video of passengers escaping from the plane, taken from the New York side, courtesy of ConEd)

Update: 02/03/09 (NY DailyNews posting of the ConEd video, posted on the Daily News account by Bill Hutchinson, of the "first interview" of Sully, landed by ESPN's Eric Reilly at the Super Bowl:)

Update: 1/21/09 (Video courtesy channel, and an avaition website (free sign up) with excellent perspective information, including this video about the crash of Flight 1549. You should definitely check out the website of Glenn Pew, Editor of, from where the above video was posted to the AV channel on YouTube.)

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