Shortly after taking off from New York City's LaGuardia Airport on January 15, 2009, U.S. Airways Flight 1549 struck a flock of geese and faced a total loss of engine power.
Flight data records confirmed that the Airbus A320-214 lost thrust due to a bird strike, evidenced by soft-body damage, organic debris (remains), and dents discovered in the dual engines. DNA testing revealed that the birds were Canada geese, a species typically too large in size for aircraft engines to ingest without incurring serious damage.
Devoid of means for an airport landing, pilots Chesley Sullenberger and Jeffrey Skiles navigated the plane to a ditching in the Hudson River and evacuated it quickly.
Sustaining only a few serious injuries, all 155 passengers and crew on board were rescued by nearby boats. The event would come to be known as the “Miracle on the Hudson”—and the flight crew and responders, as heroes.
January 2019 marks the ten year anniversary of this emergency landing and rescue.