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Last updated: 24 March 2019
Date:Thursday 15 January 2009
Type:Silhouette image of generic A320 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Airbus A320-214
Operator:US Airways
Registration: N106US
C/n / msn: 1044
First flight: 1999-06-15 (9 years 7 months)
Total airframe hrs:25241
Engines: 2 CFMI CFM56-5B4/P
Crew:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 5
Passengers:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 150
Total:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 155
Aircraft damage: Damaged beyond repair
Location:off Weehawken, NJ [Hudson River, NY] (   United States of America)
Phase: Initial climb (ICL)
Nature:Domestic Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:New York-La Guardia Airport, NY (LGA/KLGA), United States of America
Destination airport:Charlotte-Douglas International Airport, NC (CLT/KCLT), United States of America
US Airways flight 1549, an Airbus A320-214, experienced an almost total loss of thrust in both engines after encountering a flock of birds and was subsequently ditched on the Hudson River near New York-LaGuardia Airport, USA.
The flight was en route to Charlotte Douglas International Airport (CLT), North Carolina,USA, and departed LaGuardia runway 04 at 15:24. At this time, the first officer was the pilot flying (PF), and the captain was the pilot monitoring (PM).
The takeoff and initial portion of the climb were uneventful. At 15:25:45, the LaGuardia ATCT local controller instructed the flight crew to contact the New York Terminal Radar Approach Control (TRACON) LGA departure controller. The captain contacted the departure controller at 15:25:51, advising him that the airplane was at 700 feet and climbing to 5,000 feet. The controller then instructed the flight to climb to and maintain 15,000 feet, and the captain acknowledged the instruction.
At 15:27:10, the captain stated, "birds." One second later, at an altitude of 2,818 feet above ground level, the crew heard thumps and thuds followed by a shuddering sound. The aircraft had struck several Canada geese.
Immediately after the bird encounter, both engines' fan and core (N1 and N2, respectively) speeds started to decelerate.
At 15:27:14, the first officer stated, "uh oh," followed by the captain stating, "we got one rol- both of 'em rolling back." The captain then stated he would start the APU and took over control of the airplane. At 15:27:28, the captain instructed the first officer to "get the QRH [quick reference handbook] loss of thrust on both engines", and reported the emergency situation to the LGA departure controller, stating, "mayday mayday mayday…this is...Cactus fifteen thirty nine hit birds, we've lost thrust in both engines, we're turning back towards LaGuardia."
The LGA departure controller acknowledged the captain's statement and then instructed him to turn left heading 220°.
The first officer began conducting Part 1 of the QRH ENG DUAL FAILURE checklist (Engine Dual Failure checklist), stating, "if fuel remaining, engine mode selector, ignition," and the captain responded, "ignition." The first officer then stated, "thrust levers confirm idle," and the captain responded, "idle." About 4 seconds later, the first officer stated, "airspeed optimum relight. three hundred knots. we don't have that," and the captain responded, "we don't."
At 15:28:05, the LGA departure controller asked the captain if he wanted to try to land on runway 13 at LGA if it was available, and the captain responded, "we're unable. we may end up in the Hudson [River]."
The LGA departure controller cleared the flight for a left-hand traffic pattern for runway 31, but the captain responded, "unable." The controller then stated that runway 4 at LGA was available, and the captain responded, "I'm not sure we can make any runway. Uh what's over to our right anything in New Jersey maybe Teterboro?" The controller replied, "ok yeah, off your right side is Teterboro Airport [TEB]."
Subsequently, the departure controller asked the captain if he wanted to try going to TEB, and the captain replied, "yes." At 15:29:11, the captain announced on the public address (PA) system, "this is the Captain, brace for impact." Meanhile the pilots were working the checklist to restart the engines.
At 15:29:21, the LGA departure controller instructed the captain to turn right 280° for runway 1 at TEB. But the captain responded: "we can't do it."
The departure controller then asked the captain which runway at TEB he would like, and the captain responded, "we're gonna be in the Hudson." When it became clear that the engines would not restart, the captain requested to first officer to select the flaps.
At 15:30:43, the aircraft landed on the surface of the Hudson River. Within seconds after the ditching, the crewmembers and passengers initiated evacuation of the airplane. Subsequently, all of the occupants were evacuated from the airplane and rescued by area responders.

Probable Cause:

PROBABLE CAUSE: "The ingestion of large birds into each engine, which resulted in an almost total loss of thrust in both engines and the subsequent ditching on the Hudson River. Contributing to the fuselage damage and resulting unavailability of the aft slide/rafts were (1) the Federal Aviation Administration’s approval of ditching certification without determining whether pilots could attain the ditching parameters without engine thrust, (2) the lack of industry flight crew training and guidance on ditching techniques, and (3) the captain’s resulting difficulty maintaining his intended airspeed on final approach due to the task saturation resulting from the emergency situation.

Contributing to the survivability of the accident was (1) the decision-making of the flight crewmembers and their crew resource management during the accident sequence; (2) the fortuitous use of an airplane that was equipped for an extended overwater flight, including the availability of the forward slide/rafts, even though it was not required to be so equipped; (3) the performance of the cabin crewmembers while expediting the evacuation of the airplane; and (4) the proximity of the emergency responders to the accident site and their immediate and appropriate response to the accident."

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: NTSB
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 1 year and 4 months
Accident number: NTSB/AAR-10/03
Download report: Final report

Bird strike
All engine powerloss

» SKYbrary 
» Canada geese caused plane to ditch in Hudson (Sunday Independent, 18-1-2009)

Follow-up / safety actions

NTSB issued 35 Safety Recommendations

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photo of Airbus A320-214 N106US
photo of Airbus A320-214 N106US
Left hand side forward fuselage damage FR1 to FR12 (pink boxes - soft body damage)
photo of Airbus A320-214 N106US
photo of Airbus A320-214 N106US
US Airways N106US retrieved from Hudson River
photo of Airbus A320-214 N106US
Right-hand engine on barge
photo of Airbus A320-214 N106US
Pylon fractured at wing intersection
photo of Airbus A320-214 N106US
Passenger door R1 after recovery
photo of Airbus A320-214 N106US
Right hand inboard and outboard flap damage
photo of Airbus A320-214 N106US
Tail cone damage.
photo of Airbus A320-214 N106US
photo of Airbus A320-214 N106US
photo of Airbus A320-214 N106US
photo of Airbus A320-214 N106US
Radome damage.
photo of Airbus A320-214 N106US
photo of Airbus A320-214 N106US
photo of Airbus A320-214 N106US
photo of Airbus A320-214 N106US
photo of Airbus A320-214 N106US
photo of Airbus A320-214 N106US
photo of Airbus A320-214 N106US
photo of Airbus A320-214 N106US
Left hand side forward fuselage damage aft of the L1 door
photo of Airbus A320-214 N106US
photo of Airbus A320-214 N106US
photo of Airbus A320-214 N106US
Photo taken 2 days before it crashed into the Hudson River
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This map shows the airport of departure and the intended destination of the flight. The line between the airports does not display the exact flight path.
Distance from New York-La Guardia Airport, NY to Charlotte-Douglas International Airport, NC as the crow flies is 869 km (543 miles).
Accident location: Approximate; accuracy within a few kilometers.

This information is not presented as the Flight Safety Foundation or the Aviation Safety Network’s opinion as to the cause of the accident. It is preliminary and is based on the facts as they are known at this time.
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Airbus A320

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