‘Miracle’ US Airways Flight 1549 Headed To Charlotte Museum For Display

Airbus A320 To Be Presented As Time Capsule Of That Jan. Day

KEARNY, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — The US Airways jet known for its famed “Miracle on the Hudson” landing, has spent the last two years just outside Newark, but it will soon be moving to a permanent display at a Charlotte, N.C. museum.

US Airways Flight 1549 splashed down in the Hudson River after it was hit by a flock of geese six minutes after takeoff from LaGuardia Airport on Jan. 15, 2009. Everyone aboard the plane lived thanks to Captain Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger, who become known as a highly-skilled, courageous and humble hero.

ap  Miracle US Airways Flight 1549 Headed To Charlotte Museum For Display

(AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)

CBS 2’s Dave Carlin got an exclusive, first-access tour of the aircraft’s interior Friday from Shawn Dorsch, president of the Carolinas Aviation Museum.

PHOTO GALLERY: The Miracle On The Hudson

At the museum in Charlotte, the public will see the Airbus A320 imperfect and not fully restored. The idea is to make it a time capsule. Silt was wiped away, but dents were left alone and windows stayed cracked, including one in the cockpit that was smashed by a tugboat.

“When we got this plane, everything in here was covered in silt, there was books and there was magazines and all types of artifacts were jumbled in here from water sloshing around the airplane,” Dorsch said.

Workers also found crew headsets, approach charts for LaGuardia, flight manuals and much more. Many of the things were found, but some were lost for a good reason.

captain chesley sullenberger iii  Miracle US Airways Flight 1549 Headed To Charlotte Museum For Display

Pilot Chesley Sullenberger (credit: AP/Seth Wenig)

“If you notice throughout the airplane, most of the seat cushions are gone because most of the seat cushions are flotation devices,” Dorsch told Carlin.

Many passengers have expressed an eagerness to return to the plane and re-live the defining moments in their lives. Some have even donated their luggage and personal items to be put on display.

Reassembly of the plane will be part of the exhibit process, with the public at the museum getting to watch the volunteer mechanics reattach the wings, tail and finish the job that started in New Jersey.

“This really represents the best of who and what we are and I think it also kind of maybe reminds us that we should make the most of every day,” Dorsch said.

Captain Sullenberger will be in Charlotte when the plane arrives on the back of massive truck on June 11.

Please offer your thoughts in the comments section below.

More from Dave Carlin
  • AirCavRick

    I wept just reading the story. Stuff like this makes this crusty old Vietnam Cav pilot weepy.

  • VinnyFromTheBronx

    James, you are 100% correct. I’ve been saying the same thing since the Miracle happened. Also, why didn’t NY give Sully a tickertape parade? Bloomberg is an idiot!

  • lsochia


    What this s tory entices is not how many survived, but how many might have died.

  • James

    I am glad someone had enough sense to preserve this plane for all to see. Truly a magnificent feat by Captain Sullenberger. In reality, this plane should have been on display in the Intrepid museum on the Hudson in New York. This aircraft has much more significance to New York than that imitation space shuttle we are getting with a 2 million dollar shipping and handling fee. Charlotte N.C., your gain is New York’s lost. You have done well, I for one will be sure to visit your museum.

  • robert mossop

    sulley was fantastic!!!!! how he was able to put that plane in the hudson and have no one hurt is beyond me. way to go sully!!! ill never forget that.

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