In a press release, US Airways confirmed the downing of Flight 1549, and advised information requests for those who may have had family members onboard may call 1-800-679-8215.
The Middle Seat blog over at the Wall Street Journal reports that if you are going to ditch a disabled plane in a city, a river is probably the best place to land. It avoids loss of life…at least on the ground.
The airplane departed from Runway 4 at LaGuardia Airport and was airborne for only about three minutes before the crash landing. The pilots had hoped to make a landing at Teterboro Airport in New Jersey, but it wasn’t possible. Such a landing without casualty is extremely rare, mostly since planes such as the A320 have engines mounted below the wing, which act as giant scoops for the water when landing, causing the plane to spin wildly. Contributing factors to help with this safe landing appear to be that the plane was gliding at a controlled slow speed, with engines off, and the skill of the pilots. More on this will come when the NTSB finishes its investigation.