Timeline of Flight 1549 NYPD & FDNY response

January 18, 2009

TIMELINE of Flight 1549 courtesy of NEWSDAY

2:45: Scheduled to take off

3:03: Left gate

3:24 Takeoff from LaGuardia

3:25: Pilot reports bird strike five to six miles from airport, declares an emergency and asks to return to airport.

3:28: Just north of the George Washington Bridge, jet’s altitude is 2,000 feet and speed is 232 mph.

3:29: First of what officials call 120 911 calls reporting crash in the Hudson.

3:31: Jet drops from radar, apparently has landed in water.

3:32: NYPD Emergency Service officers, on patrol in midtown Manhattan, board Circle Line at Hudson River and 42nd Street to go out to crash site.

3:35: FDNY receives reports of plane in the water. … Also receives multiple calls in the Bronx reporting a plane with engine fire.

3:36: FDNY Rescue 1 to their Manhattan base: “Urgent! Plane in the water with people out. We’re launching our boat!”

3:37: FDNY Battalion 9: “Have all units respond to the Intrepid. That’s where Rescue 1 is.”

3:40: FDNY Battalion Chief 9 to Manhattan dispatch: “Urgent! We have a commercial airliner down, have all units respond to Circle Line Piers, we have people on the wings, we have a Circle Line Boat pushing it to the pier.”

3:46: FDNY division chief to Manhattan dispatch: “Urgent! I want all the Marine Units responding on this incident! At this time we have numerous people on the wings on the plane.”

3:53: From a senior fire official’s vehicle: “Notify Division 1 as per FDOC [the department’s operations center in Brooklyn], there are ‘ passengers and five crew, total of 151.”

4:13: FDNY Marine Battalion: “Marine 1 and Marine 6 have lashed the plane to ensure the remaining fuel and engine do not break away.”

4:20: FDNY FieldCom [a mobile communications unit]: “As per the pilot, there is no one left on the plane.”


UPDATE (2-5-09): Timeline from cockpit recording transcript are a little different. 1:52 from distress call to final communication. His time for decision-making = 112 seconds. Less than one second per person. Folks this was remarkable for a distress landing on land. He said he had no doubt he could do it and that his entire life training had prepared him for that moment.

3:27.36 SULLY: Ah, this is, uh, Cactus 1539, hit birds, we lost thrust in both engines. We’re turning back towards La Guardia.

3:27:42 Harten: OK, yeah, you need to return to to La Guardia. Turn left heading of two-two-zero.

3:27:46 SULLY: Two-two-zero.

3:28:05 Harten: Cactus 1529, if we can get it to you, do you want to try land runway 1-3?

3:28:11 SULLY: We’re unable – we may end up in the Hudson.

3:28:31 Harten: Alright, Cactus 1549, it’s going to be left traffic to runway 3-1.

3:28:34 SULLY: Unable.

3:28:36 Harten: OK. What do you need to land?

3:28:46 Harten: Cactus 1549, runway 4 is available – if you want to make left traffic to runway 4.

3:28:50 SULLY: I’m not sure if we can make any runway. Uh, what’s over to our right? Anything in New Jersey? Maybe Teterbro?

3:28:55 Harten: Ok, yeah, over to your right side is Teterboro airport.

3:29:02 Harten: Do you want to go to Teterboro?

3:29:03 SULLY: Yes.

3:29:21 Harten: Cactus 1529, turn right 2-8-0. Can land runway 1 at Teterboro.

3:29:25 SULLY: We can’t do it.

3:29:26 Harten: OK, which runway would you like at Teterboro?

3:29:28 SULLY: We’re going to be in the Hudson. [ding, ding, ding]

3:29:48 In the water.

3:45 Is a report of a passengers seen standing on the wings of the Airbus in the river.


Timeline of FDNY & NYPD immediate response
Flight 1549 Transcript of cockpit recording + Teterboro
Flight 1549 Cockpit recording (video audio)

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