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Monday, June 6, 2011

By air, sea and land: 'Miracle on the Hudson' plane makes its final journey (by road) to become a piece of American history at a museum


Take-off! The US Airways jet, flight 1549, is pulled past City Hall in Newark, New Jersey, on its way to an aviation museum in North Carolina where it will be put on permanent display

It captivated the world two years ago when it safely landed on the Hudson River, and now the so-called Miracle on the Hudson plane is on the move again.

This time, however, the river crossing it made was a lot slower and a lot drier.

The US Airways plane was rolled out of a warehouse in Harrison, New Jersey, on Saturday and transported on the back of a huge truck across the Passaic River.

From there it began the trek to a North Carolina museum where it will become a piece of American history.

Accompanied by a convoy of police cars and film crews, the damaged Airbus A320 eased out of the J. Supor and Sons warehouse lot where it has sat since the splashdown in January 2009 made its pilot, Capt. Chesley Sullenberger, a national hero.

With traffic stopped and people rolling down their windows to take pictures with their cell phones, the flatbed truck crossed the river into Newark, took a left on to Route 21 South and then a right toward the heart of downtown.

The long and winding road: The convoy has to take back routes all the way to North Carolina because the plane is too big to fit through highway toll booths and too tall for some overpasses

The caravan passed the Prudential Centre Arena before turning on to Broad Street, Newark's main drag, for a few blocks before heading south west.

US Airways Flight 1549 was bound for Charlotte from New York on January 15, 2009, when it struck a flock of geese after take off and lost power in both engines.

Mr Sullenberger, who came to be known as Sully, considered trying to land at nearby Teterboro Airport in New Jersey but quickly recognised that would be too risky.

He decided to touch the plane down in the middle of the frigid Hudson.

Make way: With a considerable police escort, the plane emerges from a warehouse in Harrison, New Jersey, where it has been stored since the January 2009 crash

Within minutes, rescue boats and commuter ferries arrived and eventually rescued all 155 passengers and crew.

The riveting scene was captured in photographs showing passengers lined up along the wings of the slowly sinking plane.

This time, on land, the plane's trip to Charlotte, North Carolina, and the Carolinas Aviation Museum is expected to take about a week.

Museum president Shawn Dorsch said the journey will take so long because the 120ft-long plane must take back roads to avoid obstacles such as toll booths, bridges and overpasses.

The wings were shipped separately.

An amazing rescue: In the freezing January waters of the Hudson, passengers line up on the wings of Flight 1549 as they wait to be brought to safety

Four hours after it left Harrison the plane had gone about 25 miles to Piscataway, just north of the Rutgers University campus, according to a tracker on Supor and Sons' website.

Mr Dorsch said Capt. Sullenberger is scheduled to speak at a reception at the museum on June 11 after the plane has arrived.

Other flight crew members also are expected to attend.

Mr Dorsch said he expects many passengers to visit the plane over the next several months.

In a tour of the plane's cabin in March, food trays could still be seen in their slots in the plane's rear galley.

Those have since been removed, but the cabin has been preserved largely as it was on the day of its final flight.

Drama on the water: Capt. Chesley 'Sully' Sullenberger became a national hero for safely landing the plane, seen here being hauled from the water, after losing power

No room for a U-turn: The 120ft-long craft is expected to arrive at the Carolinas Aviation Museum in about a week

Something you don't see every day: U.S. Airways flight 1549 winds its way through the streets of Elizabeth, New Jersey, on its way to North Carolina

source: dailymail


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