New York, Feb.6 (ANI): Audio recordings released on Thursday by the Federal Aviation Administration have shown that when the US Airways plane was heading into waters of Hudson Bay, its pilot, Captain. Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger, remained calm and matter-of-fact during the entire episode.
Sullenberger's voice never wavered, reports CBS News, but his badly crippled plane and the 155 people on board were running out of good options.
"It was the worst sickening pit-of-your-stomach, falling-through-the-floor feeling I've ever felt in my life," Sullenberger told CBS Evening News.
"I knew immediately it was very bad," he added.
After contact with the plane was lost, the tension in the tower at LaGuardia is clearly reflected in the voice of a controller. He sighs and then whispers to himself, "All right" as he returns to his normal duties.
"He lost all thrust" and "they're gone, all frequencies," the controller tells another plane that is preparing to take off.
Sullenberger has told FAA investigators he glided the plane into the river rather than risking a catastrophic crash in a densely populated area. All 155 aboard survived.
The trouble began moments after Flight 1549 took off on January 15.
"Hit birds, we lost thrust in both engines, we're turning back to LaGuardia," the aircraft reported.
Controllers handling the departure told the LaGuardia tower: "Tower, stop your departures, we got an emergency returning." After identifying the flight, they said, "He lost all engines, he lost the thrust in the engines, he is returning immediately."
But less than 20 seconds later, Flight 1549 reported: "We're unable. We may end up in the Hudson." That led to the unsuccessful scramble to divert the plane to Teterboro.
The National Transportation Safety Board said Wednesday they've confirmed there were birds in both the airliner's engines. Remains from both engines have also been sent to the Smithsonian Institution in Washington to have the particular bird species identified.
The flight data recorder revealed no anomalies or malfunctions in either engine until Sullenberger reported striking birds, the board said.
Engine maintenance records also show the engines had been serviced in compliance with the FAA's most recent safety directive, the board said.
Last week, the aircraft was moved from the barge where it had been docked in Jersey City, N.J., to a secure salvage yard in Kearny, N.J, where it will remain throughout the estimated 12 to 18 months the NTSB investigation could take. (ANI)