Flight recorders confirm bird strike in NYC

01/19/2009 | Wall Street Journal, The

The black boxes recovered from US Airways Flight 1549 reveal that the plane lost power in both engines after hitting a flock of birds at 3,200 feet, confirming initial reports from passengers and crew. "The captain makes a radio call to ATC (air traffic control) calling mayday and reports that they hit birds, lost both engines and were returning to LaGuardia," said Kitty Higgins, a member of the National Transportation Safety Board, in releasing the cockpit transmissions on Sunday. Higgins praised the crew's quick thinking in saving the lives of all on board. "Miracles happen because a lot of everyday things happen for years and years and years," she said. "These people knew what they were supposed to do and they did it and as a result, nobody lost their life."

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