NTSB: River landing right choice
Passengers stand on the wings of a U.S. Airways plane after it landed in the Hudson River in New York, Jan. 15, 2009. (By Brendan McDermid/Reuters).
A federal safety panel says the pilot made the right choice to ditch US Airways Flight 1549 into the Hudson River last year, even though he could have made it back to New York's LaGuardia Airport.
The National Transportation Safety Board is releasing documents Tuesday related to the incident as it tries to draw safety lessons.
The NTB is meeting today at its L'Enfant Plaza headquarters to determine the probable cause of the accident and consider recommendations to reduce future occurrences.
The documents show that if pilot Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger had immediately attempted to return to LaGuardia after ingesting geese into both engines the Airbus A320 would have made it -- barely. That scenario would have required Sullenberger to make an immediate decision with little or no time to assess the situation. The documents say Sullenberger would have had no way of knowing that he would be successful, and therefore would have been risking the possibility of a catastrophic crash in a densely populated area.
The 155 people aboard the plane survived. Five people suffered serious injuries.
-- Staff and wire reports
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