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January 16th, 2009
08:40 AM ET

Morning Buzz: It's a Bird, It's a Plane, It's Superman

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/US/01/16/hudson.plane.crash/art.pilot.sullenberger.jpg caption="Chesley B. "Sully" Sullenberger, a former Air Force fighter pilot, has been with US Airways since 1980."]

Penny Manis
AC360° Senior Producer

Birds are likely to blame for the US Airways incident yesterday that led to the plane making a crash landing on the Hudson River. The superman in all this is the much praised pilot of this flight, C.B. “Sully” Sullenberger who kept all 155 people on board safe after this emergency water landing.

Hopefully we’ll hear from the pilot soon and get more details on exactly what he experienced in his Airbus A320 double-engine jet shortly after take off from Queens, NY en route to North Carolina. One eye witness said “if someone’s going to land a plane in the water, this seemed the best possible way to do it, a very slow contact with the water.”

Today no doubt the survivors are counting their lucky stars, probably in disbelief that they are in the minority of folks who actually survive plane crashes. They also have rescuers to thank from crews to local commuter ferries to the coast guard and NYC police and fire departments.

The US airways flight is still in the Hudson River tied to a pier this morning, an NTSB team is investigating exactly what happened and will try to retrieve the plane’s black box. David Mattingly, Gary Tuchman and others will have more on this story tonight.

John King has an exclusive interview with P-E Barack Obama today and you’ll see it tonight on AC360. Yesterday P-E Obama won Senate approval to spend the 2nd half of the $700bn financial rescue pkg, and today he plans to promote his economic stimulus proposal in Ohio. With 4 days to go until he is officially sworn in as President of the USA, he’ll have lots to talk to John about later and we’re all going to listen in.

Our senior CNN International Correspondent Ben Wedeman is in Gaza today. The Israeli army has not allowed our journalists to enter Gaza thus far from their end of the border, which our network has been pushing hard against. In this case, Ben entered via Egypt after they did accept our paperwork, and he will have first-hand reporting tonight on what he sees. It should be powerful and interesting!

See u tonight!


Filed under: Penny Manis • The Buzz
soundoff (9 Responses)
  1. Pati Mc

    Captain Chesley B. Sullenberger is surely one of God's angels. Amazing that he landed that plane gently in the Hudson with no damage to it or its cargo of souls. Some may think that "miracle" is too great a wrrd for what happened, but I am not one of them. When you think of what could have happened, there is little doubt in my mind.

    Ben Wedeman has accomplished crossing into Gaza. Look forward to his reporting and may he be safe.

    January 16, 2009 at 11:56 am |
  2. Mara

    I am so disppointed in the journalists questioning Jeff Kolodjay. The poor guy stood there in his t-shirt and, as he noted, "frozen pants" while reporters fired questions at him. Not one of the journalists gave him a jacket or even a hat, yet they all looked well-protected from the cold!

    January 16, 2009 at 11:35 am |
  3. Michelle

    I hope we will soon hear from the pilot and crew as well
    as the rescuers.It is definitely a miracle and blessing for
    all of those passengers.I am looking forward to John King's
    sit down with PE Obama since I will be watching the coverage
    all weekend long that will lead to the historic inauguration.
    I am glad that a western reporter has made it into Gaza. Even
    Israeli citizens are raising concerns about what is going on
    in Gaza.

    January 16, 2009 at 11:29 am |
  4. Cherisa

    I keep seeing mention of the copilot but no name. Certainly the pilot deserves the praises being bestowed on him, and indeed the outcome is a miracle. But who were the other crew members that helped make sure everyone survived? I'd be interested to hear from all of them. It's an amazing story from any point of view.

    January 16, 2009 at 9:53 am |
  5. Michelle D. Fonthill,Ont

    The lessons learned from a near tragedy are that there are kindness and life is precious.We must learn to take nothing for granted. The piolt should be named hero of the year for his act of bravery and his expertise that guided him through this near tragic accident. God was truly holding his hands on that plane and angles were watching over them.

    January 16, 2009 at 9:35 am |
  6. Carol B., Virginia

    It certainly sounds like a miracle. The pilot did a great job and the passengers and their families are probably relieved beyond words. Just wondering – is or has there been any way to shield or safeguard the engines without impeding the function?

    January 16, 2009 at 9:28 am |
  7. Cindy

    I'd love to hear from pilot Sullenberger myself because how he managed to land that plane in the Hudson with no damage is beyond amazing! He definitely had God's help with that!!

    I'd like to know what was going through his mind and exactly what was being said between him and the control tower...especially when he told them he was going into the Hudson. That had to be some conversation right there! So I hope that he holds a press conference today and enlightens us of the going ons of those last couple of minutes.

    And all of the survivors should kiss his feet that he managed to do the unthinkable with no one getting hurt..not even the plane.

    Cindy...Ga.

    January 16, 2009 at 9:10 am |
  8. Isabel, RJ, Brazil

    Chesley, if the heaven to exist, you have a VIP seat guaranteed.
    Congratulations on your province and professionalism!
    you were very aware when you leave the aircraft after all the passengers and crew.
    In today's times where almost nobody cares about next, or no one to speak the word 'Thank you', their example was beautiful!
    Thank you!

    January 16, 2009 at 9:07 am |
  9. Isabel, RJ, Brazil

    In a troubled and tense days, we can draw the lesson that good things (!very good) still happen in this life: a pilot who can save all their passengers in an accident so serious, and none lives lost.
    I wish all people to recover as quickly as possible.
    I wish that we have some good news and positive on Gaza, too.
    Good day to all!

    January 16, 2009 at 9:06 am |