Planes Crashing in your Back Yard

A plane taking off from La Guardia airport this afternoon ditched in the Hudson River around 48th Street at a little before 3:30pm this afternoon. This happens to be the stretch of the Hudson visible directly outside my window.

I posted some pictures of the view from my bedroom window recently. Here is a picture taken today at 4:15pm indicating the approximate crash site:

Site of USAir plane crash

And here’s a close-up showing the flashing lights of the rescue and police along the West Side of Manhattan:

Rescue and recovery flashing lights

The picture doesn’t really capture it, because not all the lights are on at once, but the whole Westside Highway as far as I can see is lined with flashing lights. At this point (4:50pm), NPR is confirming that miraculously everyone was rescued from the plane and has survived. The rescue was begun by New York Waterway ferries that sidled up to the floating plane within minutes of the crash landing (a resident of a tall building on the Upper Westside who witnessed the entire crash was interviewed on one of the local TV stations, and she said it was about 8 minutes from the plane coming to rest before the ferries started taking people off the plane).

It appears that pilot and crew training saved a lot of lives today — the landing was described as a picture-perfect water landing by those who witnessed it — and it seems that the crew got everyone off the plane very quickly, with most of them not even getting wet (though from pictures I saw on the TV, it seems that some of them may have gotten their feet wet standing on the partially-submerged wings of the plane waiting to board one of the rescue boats).

Since the landing around W. 48th Street, the plane has floated down the river and gradually sunk into the water (though the last footage I saw showed the tip of the tail and the top of the cockpit still above water), and last I heard it was down around Greenwich Village (the reporter said Perry Street).

A remarkable event.

The View from Weehawken

I’ve posted a small selections of pictures I’ve taken of Manhattan from my bedroom window here in Weehawken. It sure is a great view!

Cruise ship in port, NYC, from Weehawken, NJ

Cruise ship departing NYC, from Weehawken, NJ

Three cruise ships and USS Nassau in port, NYC, from Weehawken, NJ

Empire State Building at night, NYC, from Weehawken, NJ

July 4th fireworks (2008/7/4), NYC, from Weehawken, NJ

Early evening rainstorm clearing, NYC, from Weehawken, NJ

Sunset reflecting on Manhattan skyscrapers, from Weehawken, NJ