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Miracle on the Hudson

Hudson River

Incident Type

Catastrophic Event


The Hudson River, New York

Media Report Details

Passengers Impacted: 150

Injuries: 5 serious injuries, some passengers treated for hypothermia

What happened?

On January 15, 2009, US Airways flight 1549, operated by Captain Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger III and five crew members, took flight from LaGuardia airport and left for Charlotte, North Carolina. Approximately two minutes into the flight, the plane flew into a flock of Canadian geese which caused severe damage to the engines and an almost complete loss of thrust. The flight crew was unable to restart the engines. After making a critical decision to return to the LaGuardia airport, Captain Sullenberger began to head back in the direction the plane came from but continued to descend at a rapid speed. Realizing the plane wouldn’t be able to make it back to the airport in time, the captain decided to attempt an emergency water landing on the Hudson River. Captain Sullenberger was able to land the plane and its passengers safely. Although the plane was severely damaged, all the passengers and crew survived and were able to exit and return home.

Who did R3 support?

The R3 response team supported the impacted passengers and crew aboard US Airways flight 1549 immediately following the plane’s emergency landing on the Hudson: the R3 consultants were waiting on shore for them even before they got off the plane.

Why was R3 called in?

R3 was called in to provide immediate critical incident response and disruption support by the organizations who had their own employees on board the flight. Knowing that these employees were going to be forever changed and impacted by this miraculous event, it was of the utmost importance that they received immediate attention and behavioral healthcare tailored to the unique circumstances of such a shocking landing.

What was the impact of R3’s support?

As a result of R3’s support, the impacted passengers of the Hudson River landing were able to get on planes and fly home to their various home states and cities, something they may not have been able to do without the behavioral health support of R3’s consultants alongside them. After experiencing such a scary near-death experience on what they thought would just be a normal flight, many of them were terrified to get back on a plane, especially in such a short amount of time after the event occurred. Understandably, many had deeply felt the impact of the jarring landing on both an emotional and physical level.

Though plane landings like the Miracle on the Hudson doesn’t happen every day, events like it will continue to happen. Don’t wait till the unexpected occurs to navigate how you will support your people when immediate response is needed. Talk to us today to learn more about how you can prepare for disruption of all sizes with R3’s tailored support solutions.

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