A newly released security camera tape shows the emergency ditching of US Airways Flight 1549 in the Hudson River in all its stunning drama -- from seconds after the jetliner splashed into the frigid water until well after the last of the 155 passengers and crew members were rescued.
The tape, made available to news media on Thursday by the Consolidated Edison utility, runs 47 minutes and 5 seconds -- by far the longest video version of the so-called miracle on the Hudson, which already had been seen in numerous snippets of tape and still photos.
It also provides the most precise continuous record of when rescuers arrived and what happened when they did. At points in the tape, a dozen watercraft of different kinds can be seen clustered around the drifting plane.
Flight 1549, bound for Charlotte, North Carolina, had just taken off from LaGuardia Airport on January 15 when it collided with a flock of birds, disabling both its engines. The pilot, Capt Chesley Sullenberger, of Danville, California, guided the crippled Airbus A320 to a splashdown in what experts have called a heroic feat of flying. All aboard survived.
The Con Ed tape, which company spokesman Chris Olert said was recorded by a security camera at a steam plant on Manhattan's west side, begins with the plane having just hit the river, skidding to a halt in a spray of water and steam at 3:25 p.