Page last updated at 23:13 GMT, Wednesday, 21 January 2009

Feather found on Hudson crash jet

Investigators examine US Airways Airbus A320 - 20/1/2009
Investigators have found "organic material" in one of the plane's engines

US investigators examining the jet that ditched into New York's Hudson River last week say they have found a feather and evidence of "soft body impact".

Police divers have also found the jet's second engine at the river's bottom.

Investigators have already confirmed that a collision with a flock of birds caused the US Airways Airbus A320 to lose power and ditch in the river.

All 155 passengers and crew of Flight 1549 survived the landing on the Hudson, which made headlines worldwide.

DNA analysis

"What appears to be organic material was found in the right engine and on the wings and fuselage," the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) said in its latest statement.

The right engine has been externally examined and "numerous internal components of the engine were significantly damaged".

Samples of the "organic material" are being sent to the Department of Agriculture for DNA analysis and the single feather "found attached to a flap track on the wing" is being sent to bird identification experts at the Smithsonian Institution.

The right engine remained attached to the airliner when it hit the water on 15 January.

The left engine separated and has now been located in mud on the bottom of the river near where the jet ditched.

It is expected to be lifted to the surface on Thursday, the NTSB said.

Evidence from the plane's flight data recorders confirmed the testimony of pilot Capt Chesley B "Sully" Sullenberger that the plane had collided with a flock of birds.

The recorders show both engines cut out simultaneously and the sound of thumps can be heard after Capt Sullenberger remarks about approaching birds.

The plane had only managed to reach a top altitude of 3,200ft (975m).

The 155 passengers and crew were rescued from the sinking aircraft by boats - Capt Sullenberger was the last to leave after checking the plane for any remaining passengers or crew.

BBC graphic
1 1526 local time (2026 GMT): Flight 1549 takes off from LaGuardia airport
2 1527 (2027 GMT): Pilot Chesley Sullenberger reports birds hitting engines
3 1528 (2028 GMT): Pilot told to land at Teterboro airfield
4 1531 (2031 GMT): Pilot ditches plane in Hudson River

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