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"Miracle on the Hudson" five years later

Wednesday, January 15, 2014 - 01:46

Jan. 15 - Survivors of US Airway's flight 1549, which made an emergency landing on the Hudson River in 2009, mark the five-year anniversary with a toast to life and heartfelt thanks. Jillian Kitchener reports.

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RESENDING TO FIX CLIPPED VIDEO It's known as the "Miracle on the Hudson" - the day Captain Chesley Sullenberger was forced to land a distressed jetliner on New York's Hudson River. Five years later, passengers and crew aboard that flight celebrated with a toast on a boat ride to that same location. On January 15, 2009, U.S. Airways flight 1549 lost power in both engines after hitting a flock of birds. And passengers experienced panic like never before: (SOUNDBITE) (English) PASSENGER XXX SAYING: "I was sitting in 22A so the left engine just blew. Fire, flames coming out of it. And I was looking right at it because I was sitting right there. And it just started smelling a lot like gasoline. A couple of minutes after that the pilot said 'you guys gotta brace for a hard impact.'" Captain Sully - as he is now known - was faced with a life or death situation when made he a textbook landing on water. (SOUNDBITE) (English) FORMER US AIRWAYS CAPTAIN CHESLEY "SULLY" SULLENBERGER, SAYING: "I chose the least bad option, but I was happy to have it." Everyone on board survived. While celebrating the anniversary, Sully thanked New York Waterway employees for their quick reaction time: (SOUNDBITE) (English) FORMER US AIRWAYS CAPTAIN CHESLEY "SULLY" SULLENBERGER, SAYING: "The first New York Waterway ferry, we know from watching the surveillance tapes, arrived alongside flight 1549 less than four minutes after we'd stopped in the Hudson. By the time I left the aircraft, half the evacuation was complete. ...Had even one person not survived, I personally couldn't have celebrated any of this." Passenger Barry Leonard made a toast to life: (SOUNDBITE) (English) BARRY LEONARD, PASSENGER, SAYING: "I wanted to thank everyone here for that. Because without these people, my children would not have had a father." It's a day everyone onboard will never forget -- a 'miracle' certainly worth celebrating.

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"Miracle on the Hudson" five years later

Wednesday, January 15, 2014 - 01:46