On September 9th, the feature film about the plane that landed in the Hudson River in 2009 will come to theaters. This is what we know about it so far...

The Trailer

From the trailer I learned three things:

  • No one warned Captain Chesley Sullenberger that this would happen—Tom Hanks-as-Sully declares very dramatically that, "No one warned us... no one said, 'You are going to lose both engines at a lower altitude than any jet in history.'" It would be really weird if someone gave this very specific warning! We can conclude that Sully never said this IRL.
  • There was an untold story behind the Miracle on the Hudson—simulations showed that Sully could have made it back to the airport. Dun dun dun. "It is a big part of the story that people don't know," says director Clint Eastwood. It wasn't enough that a commercial airplane was safely brought down for a landing on the Hudson River right alongside New York City during a very chaotic, emergency situation. All the passengers were safe! It was called a miracle because it kind of was! But Sully sure went through a lot of shit after he saved those lives. And that's what this movie is about.
  • Do flight attendants really chant this when a plane is going down?: "Brace brace brace! Heads down, stay down. Brace brace brace! Heads down, stay down." According to Airways Magazine, this is "100% accurate for the brace commands at the time."

The Production

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Uh oh, here come the accuracy police!

  • While principal photography was done in New York City, the movie filmed in Atlanta "where a building in downtown Atlanta was transformed into a NYC hotel." Additional filming took place in North Carolina, Los Angeles, Holloman AFB, New Mexico and Kearny, New Jersey. Because of this, representations of our skyline aren't exactly accurate. But this is a character film, just pay attention to Tom Hanks.
  • When Sully was filming in Los Angeles, a replica of U.S. Airways Flight 1549 made a road trip from Arizona to Universal Studios in Hollywood. The jetliner was placed "on the back of a trailer, and transported down highway 395, onto the 15 freeway, and eventually the 210 freeway before reaching it’s new home at Universal Studios Hollywood."
  • It was filmed almost entirely with IMAX cameras.

The Reality

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(Getty Images)

  • The landing occurred on January 15th, 2009, taking place in the Hudson River, around Piers 88 and 92 (West 48th-West 52nd Streets. By 6 p.m., then Mayor Bloomberg and Governor Paterson addressed the media. It was then that Paterson said, "We had a Miracle on 34th Street, now, I believe, we have a Miracle on the Hudson."
  • The incident happened because, about three minutes into the flight at 3:27 p.m. EST, "the plane struck a flock of Canada geese during its initial standard instrument departure climb out from LaGuardia... the bird strike caused both jet engines to quickly lose power."
  • Passenger Jeff Kolodjay had recalled the incident: "All of a sudden the captain came on and he told us to brace ourselves and probably brace ourselves pretty hard. But he did an amazing job—kudos to him on that landing." He had explained, "About three or four minutes into the flight the left engine just blew, fire and flames came out of it and it just started smelling a lot like gasoline."
  • The incident led to the geese culling at area airports.

A few cameras caught the landing:

Sully is out in theaters September 9th, about 7 1/2 years after the emergency landing took place.