In this heart-stopping, page-turning tale of fear, heroism, and redemption, the passengers of the Hudson River crash landing tell their remarkable stories.
Millions watched the aftermath on television, while others witnessed the event actually happening from the windows of nearby skyscrapers. But only 155 people know firsthand what really happened on U.S. Airways Flight 1549 on January 15, 2009. Now, for the first time, the survivors detail their astounding, terrifying, and inspiring experiences on that freezing winter day in New York City. Written by two esteemed journalists, Miracle on the Hudson
is the entire tale from takeoff to bird strike to touchdown to rescue, seen through the eyes and felt in the souls of those on board the fateful flight.
Revealing many new and compelling details, Miracle on the Hudson
dramatically evokes the explosion and "smell of burning flesh" as both engines were destroyed by geese, the violent landing on the river that felt like a "huge car wreck," the gridlock in the aisles as the plane filled swiftly with freezing water, and the thrill of the passengers' rescue from the wings and from rafts—all of it recalled by the "cross section of America" on board.
Jay McDonald, a thirty-nine-year-old software developer, had survived brain-tumor surgery just two years earlier and now faced the unimaginable.
Tracey Wolsko, a nervous flier, suddenly became other people's rock: "Just pray. It's going to be all right." Jim Whitaker, a construction executive, reassured a nervous mother of two young children on board, only later admitting, "I was pathologically lying the whole time." As the plane started sinking, Lucille Palmer, eighty-five, told her daughter to save herself: "Just leave me!"
Featuring much more than what the media reported—moments of chaos in addition to stoicism and common sense, and the fortuitous mistakes and quick instincts that saved lives that otherwise would have been lost—Miracle on the Hudson
is the chronicle of one of the most phenomenal feel-good stories of recent years, one that could have been a nightmare and instead became a stirring narrative of heroism and hope for our times.
Look Inside Miracle on the Hudson Click on thumbnails for larger images
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|Chris Cobb hands life preservers thrown from the ferry Thomas Jefferson to Warren Holland and Victor Warnement (in the white shirt) on the right wing. (Photo © Tripp Harris) ||The final group of passengers to be rescued floats on an escape slide attached to the left side of the sinking Airbus as daylight fades. (Photo © Eric Stevenson) ||The smooth nose of the Airbus A320 is cracked and dented after its collision with the geese. (Photo © NTSB) |
From Publishers Weekly
In a stunning display of skill and steely nerves, pilot Chesley Sullenberger managed a Hudson River water landing in freezing weather, with no engines, to save the lives of every single person aboard his aircraft. Aided by New York and New Jersey emergency responders steeped in post-9/11 training, Sullenberger and his crew did everything right when everything around them had gone horribly wrong. Interviewing survivors of flight 1549, husband-and-wife journalists Prochnau and Parker piece together a detailed, moment-by-moment account of the accident and its aftermath, getting inside the heads of ordinary people who demonstrated remarkable courage and humanity. Anyone who remembers the dramatic 2009 event will be riveted by this account, even with a forgone happy conclusion. Notably absent is the testimony of Captain Sullenberger, who saved his insights for his own book, Highest Duty, but this passengers'-eye-view narrative makes an absorbing, inspirational record.
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