Reports are coming in that a plane has crashed in the Hudson River, between Piers 88 and 92 (West 48th-West 52nd Streets; U.S.S. Intrepid is at Pier 86). The newscasts are reporting that it's a US Airways (twin-engine) flight.
Update: Divers are picking up passengers, who are in life rafts. A New York Waterway ferries are on the scene, also trying to help. The plane was reportedly heading from LaGuardia Airport; the plane is floating south. Injuries are unknown at this time; there were over 70 passengers. The flight was US Airways 1549 (from NYC to Charlotte, NC), an Airbus A320, that took off from LGA at 3:11 p.m.
Some reports suggest that a flock of geese hit the plane.
Update: Reports now say the number of passengers are between 140 and 160. A witness says the plane is floating downstream.
So far, it's believed all occupants are out of the plane. A secondary search is being conducted; fire department rescue teams from NJ and other NY are aiding.
A passenger said 1010WINS that the pilot told passengers should brace themselves—the passenger credited the pilot for steering them into the water and he said that they had children and women leave the plane first. The plane has floated down toward 23rd Street.
Update: A man driving on the Henry Hudson now tells 1010 WINS the plane looked very low and that the plane landed in the water—and there was no fire. There were 146 passengers and 5 crew members.
FBI says there's no indication this crash was connected to terrorism.
Update: Reports are that the plane is being towed to Chelsea Piers. And the plane was scheduled to head to Seattle after Charlotte. And a caller told NBC New York, "I saw it hit the river. It just came crashing down into the river. I was wondering why it came down so low; there's no airport around here."
Here's video from MSNBC:
Update: FlightAware shows that Flight 1549 was only in the air for 6 minutes, from 3:26PM to 3:32PM
Update: Bill White, COO of the USS Intrepid Museum, says that about 21 Bank of America employees were on the plane (BoA is an Intrepid sponsor). He said it was a "miracle" that no one was injured and that it was incredible the pilot steered the plane into the water.
According to the FAA, all passengers were evacuated. There are minor injuries to all passengers. The U.S. Army Corp of Engineers is en route with a water crane to retrieve the air craft.
A passenger sitting in seat 22A tells WCBS 2, "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. A couple minutes after that the pilots said we had to brace for a hard impact, and that's when everyone started saying prayers."
Some passengers were taken to hospitals in NY while other are being treated in NJ.
Update 5:11 p.m.: Coast Guard says about 60 passengers were in the water when they were rescued.
Update 5:37 p.m.: Former managing director of the National Transportation Safety Board Peter Goelz tells Bloomberg News, “They’re probably zeroing in on the possibility of a bird strike. That’s what the pilots seem to have reported, and it would explain why they lost both engines at once. You can handle hitting maybe one bird, but not three or four. If you get a flock of Canada geese, you’re going to be in trouble.” And airline consultant (and former Airbus executive) George Hamlin said, "Ditching an aircraft is a significant accomplishment on the part of the pilot, as opposed to crashing one. There’s no place for an airplane of that size to land in Manhattan.”
Seventy-eight people were taken to the NY side, 68 people were taken to NJ.
Update 5:51 p.m.: Doug Church, from the air traffic controller's union, tells 1010 WINS that the pilot saw Teterboro Airport from his window while he was over NJ and wanted to land there, but then air traffic control didn't here anymore. The plane was apparently 900 feet over the George Washington Bridge (which is 604 feet).
Update 6:00 p.m.: Mayor Bloomberg and Governor Paterson are addressing the media (also there: Office of Emergency Management Commissioner Joseph Bruno, Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer, City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, Fire Commissioner Nicholas Scoppetta, Police Commissioner Ray Kelly). Both praised the pilot profusely. Paterson said, "We had a Miracle on 34th Street, now, I believe, we have a Miracle on the Hudson."
Bloomberg said he spoke to the pilot, who said he walked the plane twice to make sure everyone was out. He said that the cause of the crash is being investigated; federal Department of Transportation Secretary Mary Peters and her team is on her way to NYC. He added that there might be some slight variations with the passenger count, because they are trying to get the latest manifest. Also: There was an infant onboard!
Bloomberg added that the plane is tied up Battery Park City and there's "Absolutely no indication of terrorism." He has no details on the injuries and added that after the pilot and passengers left, two NYPD divers checked the plane.
Update 6:33 p.m.: i'm not sayin', i'm just sayin' mapped the plane's path:
1. It appears the engine trouble occurred between 3:27 pm and 3:28 pm over the Bronx Zoo, where the aircraft, which had been climbing steadily out of LGA to 3,200 feet, suddenly descends to 2,000 feet while still accelerating slightly from 194 knots to 202 knots.
2. The flight path curved inland over the northernmost part of Manhattan - as far East as Harlem River Drive - before the plane curved right to center perfectly over the Hudson. The FAA is reporting that controllers originally suggested a landing at Teterboro Airport in NJ. Maybe the left turn was a momentary adjustment for a Teterboro approach, before the pilot realized that a water landing was the only option?
3. The plane actualy GAINS 100 ft of altitude, from 1,200 to 1,300 feet, one to two minutes after the descent began, while the pilot was centering on the Hudson. News reports are suggesting that all engines were out. Could the plane pull up 100 ft using flaps alone? The altitude data from Flightaware is rounded to 100 feet, so is it possible that the plane was right around 1,250 feet could be explained by rounding errors?