US Airways Flight 1549, the plane that made the "miracle" landing on New York's Hudson River in 2009, is about to make its long-overdue arrival in Charlotte.
Officials with the Carolinas Aviation Museum say they've all but finalized an agreement that would put the Airbus A320 on permanent display as a tourist attraction.
"The aircraft is an international aviation icon," museum president Shawn Dorch said Tuesday. "It's recognized around the world."
The plane flown by Capt. Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger had just taken off from LaGuardia on Jan. 15, 2009, en route to Charlotte when it collided with a flock of Canada geese and lost both engines. It glided to a landing on the Hudson, where passengers emerged and lined up on half-submerged wings. All 155 passengers and crew members were rescued.
Since then, the plane has been stored in pieces in a New Jersey warehouse. The wings and tail are detached. So are the engines, one of which was pulled from the river bottom, 65 feet below the surface.
But Dorch said the inside of the plane's fuselage "is like a time capsule."
"The Coke cans are in the food carts," he said. "Except for the passenger belongings, virtually everything else is still in the airplane just like it was."
Dorch said the museum appears to have beaten out others - including the Smithsonian - in acquiring the plane. He declined to say how much it will pay to get the plane from the insurance company that now owns it.
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