'Miracle on the Hudson': Flight 1549

Two battered banking cities saw horror turn to heartlift on Thursday, as a Charlotte-bound flight plunged into the frigid Hudson River and all 155 people on board got out alive.

A skilled US Airways pilot and fast-acting New York rescuers averted what looked like another tragedy playing out in view of New York skyscrapers.

Charlotteans watched on TV as bankers and other travelers from the Queen City stood knee-deep on submerging aircraft wings.

Passenger John Howell of Charlotte said he was thinking of his family as he waited to be rescued. He could see lower Manhattan, where his brother died when the World Trade Center towers fell on 9-11.

“He was a firefighter with Ladder (No.) 2,” Howell told the Newark Star-Ledger. “The only thing I was thinking was, ‘If I go down, my mother's not going to survive this.'”

Passengers included an infant and Charlotte-based employees of Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Belk, Staples and TIAA-CREF.

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