'Miracle on the Hudson' Plane to Debut at NC Museum
Currently the plane is being shipped piece-by-piece from a warehouse in New Jersey to the museum, reports the Associated Press. The plane's wings are expected to make the move within the next few weeks, while the 120-foot fuselage will be trucked down around mid-June, Stephen Ryan, whose Australia-based company FRD is consulting on the museum project, tells the news outlet.
The exhibit featuring the famous jet is scheduled to open in January, at which time museum president Shawn Dorsch hopes the annual visitor numbers will swell from about 30,000 to more than 100,000.
Displays will focus on the technology that helped the plane land safely, the heroics of Captain Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger, and also taped interviews with the passengers.
In January 2009, US Airways Flight 1549 had just taken off from LaGuardia Airport when a flock of birds struck both engines. With two engines down, Sullenberger decided to land the plane in the Hudson River adjacent to midtown Manhattan. All 155 occupants safely evacuated the airline and were rescued by nearby watercraft.
For the "Miracle on the Hudson" exhibit, the plane will be preserved as close to its current condition as possible – although the back of the cabin, which filled with water and muck while the passengers were rescued, has a layer of mold that will be cleaned before the plane can be shipped to Charlotte.
Other visual evidence of the incident on the jetliner includes a gaping hole that exposes the rear cargo hold that was torn open during impact, as well as two cracked windshields and other dents that were caused by rescue tugboats or during the plane's removal from the water, Ryan tells the news outlet.