January 15th, 2009
04:50 PM ET

Passenger heard a 'loud bang'

Passenger Alberto Panero heard a 'loud bang' before the U.S. Airways airliner made a crash landing in the Hudson river.

Filed under: 360° Radar • Airline Safety • Top Stories
January 15th, 2009
04:42 PM ET

Planes vs. Birds

Bird Strike Committee USA

Bird Strike Committee USA is a volunteer organization directed by a 10- to 15-person steering committee consisting of 2-3 members each from the Federal Aviation Administration, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Department of Defense, aviation industry/airlines, and airports.

Some Stats: Did you know that?

– Over 219 people have been killed worldwide as a result of bird strikes since 1988.

– Bird and other wildlife strikes cost USA civil aviation over $620 million/year, 1990-2007.

– Over 5,000 bird strikes were reported by the U.S. Air Force in 2007.

– Over 7,600 bird and other wildlife strikes were reported for USA civil aircraft in 2007.

– Studies indicate only about 20% of bird strikes to civil aircraft at Part 139-certificated (passenger service) airports in USA are reported. Less than 5% of bird strikes at General Aviation airports are reported.

– From 1990-2004, USA airlines reported 31 incidents in which pilots had to dump fuel to lighten load during a precautionary or emergency landing after striking birds on takeoff or climb. An average of 11,600 gallons of jet fuel was released in each of these dumps.

– Waterfowl (31%), gulls (26%), and raptors (18%) represented 75% of the reported bird strikes causing damage to USA civil aircraft, 1990-2007.

– Over 760 civil aircraft collisions with deer and 250 collisions with coyotes were reported in the USA, 1990-2007.


Filed under: 360° Radar • Airline Safety • Top Stories
January 15th, 2009
04:30 PM ET

Breaking News: Pilot: "Brace for Impact"

Maureen Miller
AC360° Writer

Just moments ago, a plane crashed into the middle of the Hudson River between midtown Manhattan and Weehawken, N.J.

The FAA confirms it was US Airways Flight 1549. The Airbus A320 took off from LaGuardia Airport just after 3pm E.T. and was headed to Charlotte, North Carolina.

155 people were on board the plane, including 5 crew members.  Everyone on board was rescued. Let me repeat that: Everyone on board was rescued.

Just seconds after the plane hit  the water ferry boats were on the scene to help passengers escape the plane. Keep in mind the water temperature in the Hudson River is 41° F. The rescued passengers are bundled in blankets now on dry land.

Alberto Panero, a passenger who escaped the plane, tells CNN the pilot told everyone on board to "brace for impact" just seconds before they hit the water.

Another passenger tells us it was a smooth landing, as smooth as you can get on water.

According to the N.J. State Police , the pilot declared an emergency in flight and a "bird strike".

My fellow writer, Cate Vojdik, did a web search and discovered that bird strikes in flight are more common than you might think.

Check out these web sites she found:

Bird Hazards to Aircraft

Bird Strike Information

Filed under: 360° Radar • AC360° Staff • Airline Safety • Maureen Miller
January 15th, 2009
04:30 PM ET

It made a big splash

Editor's Note: CNN's Rick Sanchez interviews an eyewitness directly after the plane went down in the Hudson River.

Rick Sanchez: This is Ben on the phone. Are you on the New York side or New Jersey side?

Ben (eyewitness): New York. I'm at 48th street and Broadway.

Rick Sanchez: What do you see?

Ben: I'm in an office building on the 25th floor. A short time ago, I saw what looked to be a small commercial plane flying south making a gradual landing. I saw it hit the water. It made a big slash. It went into a view where I couldn't see, but I did see it hit the water at a very gradual angle. It appeared not to have landing gear engaged. This was bigger than a puddle jumper or sea plane. It was a silver aircraft and it basically just hit the water.

Rick: The landing or crash landing or splash landing, a controlled landing, no big problems? Describe the landing to us. Was it a controlled landing or whether you saw anything about it that was unusual.

Ben: I didn't know what pilots are trained to do and not do. But if someone's going to land a plane in the water, this seemed the best possible way to do it. The way they hit it was very gradual. A very slow contact with the water that it made. Again, I did not see whether it sank or remained on the surface of the water. It was a very slow, calm, if you will, contact.

Filed under: 360° Radar • Airline Safety
January 15th, 2009
04:25 PM ET

Airliner crashes in NY river

A US Airways plane has crashed in the Hudson river in New York.

Filed under: 360° Radar • Airline Safety • Top Stories
January 15th, 2009
03:02 PM ET

Senate to take up TARP measure

The Senate votes at 4:30 p.m. ET Thursday on a resolution that seeks to block the release of $350 billion in TARP funds.

The Senate votes at 4:30 p.m. ET Thursday on a resolution that seeks to block the release of $350 billion in TARP funds.

David Goldman

A Senate fight looms Thursday over President-elect Barack Obama's attempt to secure the second half of the $700 billion financial rescue package.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., announced that the Senate would vote at 4:30 p.m. ET on a resolution that seeks to block the release of $350 billion.

President Bush, acting on behalf of Obama, sent Congress a formal request on Monday to release the second $350 billion of the Troubled Asset Relief Program funds to the Treasury Department.

Eight Republican senators, led by Sen. David Vitter, R-La., said Wednesday they would do all they could to prevent Treasury from getting the remaining TARP funds.

"We should not give another administration a carte-blanche to do anything it wants, which is what TARP has become," Vitter said.

Under the bailout legislation approved by Congress in October, unless Congress passes a joint resolution rejecting the request within 15 days, Treasury can begin tapping the funds. Obama has vowed he would veto a resolution denying him the funds.

Several key Democrats who had earlier stated their displeasure with the handling of the first $350 billion are now changing their tune, saying they will honor the incoming Obama administration's request.

Keep reading...

Filed under: Barack Obama • David Goldman • Raw Politics
January 15th, 2009
02:35 PM ET

A woman among men

Editor’s Note: You can read more Jami Floyd blogs on “In Session.”

Jami Floyd
AC360° Contributor
In Session Anchor

Hillary Clinton has long been a controversial figure, not really because of anything she's done or who she is but because of what she represents: Women who seek access to the corridors of power as men have done for centuries.

Men don't like it because they don't want the added competition. Women don't like it because it challenges the choices we have made in our own lives. Bottom line: We feel threatened by a strong, smart woman who is not afraid to call it like she sees it.

But then I think of all the women who have come before and what they might have done with their lives and for their country if only given the chance - not to mention the countless women who couldn't even vote before 1920, much less hope to serve their country in any greater capacity than motherhood.

Don't get me wrong; behind every great man is a great woman and that woman is often his mother. After all, the founding fathers all had mothers from whom they no doubt got their courage and democratic ideals.

But I believe our country is made even stronger by those women who now seek to stand shoulder to shoulder with men. I am happy that my daughter - and my son - will have their fine example.

Filed under: Hillary Clinton • In Session • Jami Floyd • Raw Politics
January 15th, 2009
12:51 PM ET

Beginnings and endings, and what remains

Editor's Note: Tune in tonight to watch Candy Crowley's report tonight on AC360° at 10pm ET.

Candy Crowley | BIO
CNN Senior Political Correspondent

Bloggees: You are my New Year’s Resolution.

You, and the downstairs of my home, filled with this heart-hurting timeline of little boys who grew up on me.

Wooden building blocks, games from “CandyLand” to “Risk”
Rubber spiders, snakes, a scorpion paperweight, a whoopee cushion.
A trumpet, a saxophone, drums sticks... Star Wars figures, musclemen
Backgammon sets, cards, poker chips... George Brett and Emmitt Smith posters
Baseballs, footballs, rugby kneepads (I think)
Letter jackets, high school yearbooks, framed pictures of old girlfriends
Diplomas and graduation hats
A Venetian glass chess set from the post-college trip to Europe
And oh Lord, the collections—golf balls, hats, stamps, baseball cards

Including my FAVORITE, the empty beer bottle collection of first born, now married, son. I was thinking of sending the 80-100 bottle collection to the new Mrs. Crowley but, confidentially, I don’t think she totally understands my humor yet.

I want it all, but I am re-doing the downstairs for (if life is good) visits from grown-up boys and (if life is good) their families. So, I need to let it go. I don’t know what to keep.

It got me thinking about how beginning something means ending something else and that part is hard.

Joe Biden said goodbye today on the Senate floor, the chamber he has served in since he was 29 years old, a legislative baby. He was to be sworn in that year on the day his wife and baby daughter were killed in an automobile accident. “As I healed,” he said, “this place became my second family.” I wonder now what it is he can’t bear to throw away, what he will take to link his ending to his beginning.

Hillary Clinton said goodbye today, too, after 8 years in the Senate. It is the place that launched a public career that belonged only to her. It is why she is Secretary of State now. When she walks around her Senate office, what means something? Which of the dozens of pictures and plaques mean enough to put on the wall at her new office? Maybe it’s a picture Chelsea drew.

George Bush is talking to the American people tonight, his last Oval Office speech. Regardless of the country’s overwhelmingly negative views, he too must feel the tugs and pushes of time. In an interview I did with him a couple of weeks ago, he seemed melancholy. This is not how he envisioned his era would end. Is there something from the drawer of his desk that kept him going? Will it take him to Dallas?

The Obamas are moving to Blair House today, just across the street from their new digs as of next Tuesday. I wonder what Sasha and Malia left behind and what they brought with them so they could hold on to Chicago.

Later today, I’ll report on the fight over the stimulus plan and the emergency bail out and how Barack Obama is trying to buy himself some time to fix things.

But this morning, I’m thinking about an unchangeable fundamental of life.

Everybody moves on. But it’s hard to let go of the empty beer bottles.

January 15th, 2009
12:29 PM ET

Financial Dispatch: Jobless claims & foreclosures jump

Andrew Torgan
CNN Financial News Producer

The number of Americans filing new claims for jobless benefits increased more than expected last week, a sign of continued weakness in the labor market in the new year. First-time claims jumped by 54,000 to a seasonally-adjusted 524,000 in the week ending January 10. The increase is partly due to a flood of requests from newly-laid off people who delayed filing claims over the holidays. But there was a bright spot… the number of people continuing to request benefits declined to 4.5 million, down from a revised figure of 4.6 million the previous week.

Foreclosure filings spiked by more than 81% in 2008 - a record - and they're up 225% compared with 2006. A total of 861,664 homes were lost to foreclosure last year, according to RealtyTrac, which released its year-end report today. There were more than 3.1 million foreclosure filings issued during 2008, which means that one of every 54 households received a notice last year.


Filed under: Andrew Torgan • Economy • Finance • Gas Prices • Oil • Unemployment • Wall St.
January 15th, 2009
11:01 AM ET

Fire destroys U.N. aid

The U.N. says Israeli artillery hit its aid headquarters compound in Gaza City, setting their buildings on fire.

Filed under: Crisis in Gaza • Hamas • Israel • Palestine
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