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10 great escapes

plane landed on Hudson River

Photo: Steven Day/AP

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Miracle on the Hudson

U.S. Airways Flight 1549 took off from New York on its way to Charlotte on Jan. 15, 2009, but minutes later the plane struck a flock of Canada geese, disabling both engines. The crew determined that they would be unable to reach any airfield in time, so pilot Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger turned the plane toward the Hudson River.

The captain told passengers to "brace for impact" and a few seconds later the Airbus A320 hit the river. As soon as the planer touched down, the aircrew began evacuating the 155 passengers from the slowly sinking airliner. By the time rescuers in Coast Guard vessels and ferries reached the plane, it was submerged up to its windows, but everyone was safely brought to shore.

The entire crew of Flight 1549 was later awarded the Master's Medal of the Guild of Air Pilots and Air Navigators, and today Capt. Sully is widely regarded as a hero.