Page last updated at 23:39 GMT, Wednesday, 4 February 2009

Birds hit both Hudson jet engines

US Airways plane crash lands in the Hudson

US authorities have confirmed that birds collided with both engines of the US Airways flight that ditched into New York's Hudson River last month.

Samples from both engines have been sent to the Smithsonian Institution in Washington so that the bird species can be identified.

The engines did not appear to have prior problems, officials said.

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

On Wednesday, the National Transportation Safety Board said an engine surge in one of the plane's engines two days before the crash was due to a faulty temperature sensor which had been replaced.

Both the US Airways Airbus A320's engines had passed inspections before the crash, officials said.

Flight data also showed there were no problems with the engines until pilot Capt Chesley B "Sully" Sullenberger reported hitting birds.

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

The left engine separated and had to be retrieved from the mud on the bottom of the river near where the jet ditched.

Flight data show both engines cut out simultaneously and the sound of thumps could be heard after Capt Sullenberger's reported 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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