Related News

Home » World

Black boxes recovered from ditched plane

TWO black boxes from a US Airlines jetliner that landed in New York's Hudson River last Thursday were taken to Washington yesterday. They will be analyzed for clues as to why the airplane's engines cut out.

The aircraft was slowly hoisted from the frigid waters late Saturday, exposing a torn and shredded underbelly that dropped pieces of metal as it was maneuvered in the darkness on to a waiting barge.

Divers still have to recover the sunken left engine of the plane, but now have an idea where to look. A sonar team has identified an object directly below the crash site, according to the United States National Transportation Safety Board.

Captain Chesley B. "Sully" Sullenberger, speaking to NTSB investigators for the first time on Saturday, said he made a split-second decision to put down in the river rather than risk a "catastrophic" crash in a populated neighborhood after birds knocked out both engines.

The NTSB said radar data confirmed that the aircraft intersected a group of "primary targets," almost certainly birds, as the jet climbed over the Bronx. Those targets had not been on the radar screen of the air traffic controller who approved the departure, the NTSB's Kitty Higgins said.

Sullenberger recounted seeing his windshield filled with big, dark-brown birds.

"His instinct was to duck," Higgins said, recounting their interview. Then there was a thump, the smell of burning birds, and silence as both aircraft engines cut out.

Sullenberger told investigators he immediately took over flying from his co-pilot and decided it would be too dangerous to attempt a landing at nearby Teterboro Airport.

"We can't do it," he told air traffic controllers. "We're gonna be in the Hudson."

"Brace! Brace! Head down!" the flight attendants shouted to the passengers.

Security cameras on a Manhattan pier captured the Airbus A320 as it descended in a controlled glide, then threw up a spray as it slid across the river on its belly.

Two flight attendants likened it to a hard landing - nothing more. There was one impact, no bounce, then a gradual deceleration.

It all happened so fast, the crew never threw the aircraft's "ditch switch," which seals off vents and holes in the fuselage to make it more seaworthy.


Copyright © 1999- Shanghai Daily. All rights reserved.Preferably viewed with Internet Explorer 8 or newer browsers.

沪公网安备 31010602000204号

Email this to your friend