It was a routine afternoon on January 15th, New York TRACON La Guardia departure (L116) was handling outbound flights, including the US Airways Flight 1549, known by its radio call sign as Cactus 1549 (an America West flight).
The routine was rudely interrupted at 15:27:36 EST (20:27:36 UTC) by a terse transmission :
“Ah this is uh Cactus fifteen thirty nine, hit birds we lost thrust in both engines we’re turning back towards La Guardia.”
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has released a recording and transcript of the period seven minutes before the bird strikes for 20 minutes, and includes all the conversation from the TRACON, the various airports, and the flights in the airspace including the US Airways flight.
I am impressed by the calm in cockpit expressed by the short terse transmissions of Captain Chesley B. “Sully” Sullenberger III. He is fighting the ultimate emergency and still communicated his situation. Equally impressive is the complete understanding of the Air Traffic Controller, and the way he anticipates and reacts to the needs of Captain Sullenberger.
Thanks to Terry Maxon for breaking the story.