Witness To Crash Explains What Happened Christopher Butler, a producer at Nickelodeon, witnessed the crashing of US Airways Flight 1549 that was en route to Charlotte, N.C., from LaGuardia Airport. He said he was sitting at his desk when a co-worker alerted him to what was happening.

Crash Witness Christopher Butler

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/99432777/99421196" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

MICHELE NORRIS, Host:

From NPR News, this is All Things Considered. I'm Michele Norris.

MELISSA BLOCK, Host:

And I'm Melissa Block. New York Governor David Paterson is calling it a miracle on the Hudson. More than 150 passengers and crew of a US Airways jet have all been rescued after their plane made an emergency landing in the Hudson River off Manhattan today. Flight 1549 had just taken off from LaGuardia Airport on route to Charlotte, North Carolina, when the pilot reported a double bird strike. The plane then eased down out of the sky, splashing into the water, then floating. Boats took the emerging passengers to safety. Police divers pulled a few people from the water. Christopher Butler works for Nickelodeon in Midtown, and he was in his office when he saw the plane out the window.

NORRIS: I was sitting at my desk on the 33rd floor at 1515 Broadway.

BLOCK: And what caught your eye?

NORRIS: Well, it caught my ear, actually. It was the woman I sit next to saying, um, um, um. And she said, there's a plane. And we turned around. And sure enough, there was a plane coming in slow and level, and it touched down in the Hudson River.

BLOCK: Now when you say slow and level, did it - I mean, did it exhibit signs of distress? Or clearly just where it was, was a sign that something was terribly wrong here.

NORRIS: Oh, it just seemed - well, obviously something was clearly wrong, but it was not evident from the manner in which it was flying. It was just touching down. It seemed oddly uneventful.

Copyright © 2009 NPR. All rights reserved. Visit our website terms of use and permissions pages at www.npr.org for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by an NPR contractor. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.