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Hudson pilot talks of 'disbelief'

Fuselage of US Airways jet that crashed in Hudson River, 31 January 2009
Aviation officials have confirmed birds struck both the plane's engines

The captain of an airliner which made an emergency landing in the Hudson River in New York last month has given his first interview about the incident.

Captain Chesley Sullenberger told US network CBS's 60 Minutes programme of the "sickening" feeling he experienced when he realised something was wrong.

He said his initial reaction was one of disbelief.

Capt Sullenberger was hailed as a hero after ditching his plane safely. All 155 people onboard survived.

Investigators have now confirmed that birds collided with both of the engines of Flight 1549 shortly before it ditched, on 16 January.

The authorities released a recording of communications between air traffic controllers and the pilot this week.

Capt Sullenberger is heard calmly telling controllers the aircraft has been struck by birds. Asked if he was able to return to the airport, he answered: "Unable."

In the last of his messages, he said: "We're gonna be in the Hudson."

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