National

'Miracle on Hudson' survivors mark anniversary

Coming soon to a museum near you - two communication headsets.

Set one belonged to Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger, who you know as the captain of the Charlotte-bound "Miracle on the Hudson" flight. They were found in the cockpit of the US Airways jetliner after it was brought last summer to the Carolinas Aviation Museum, where it is on display to the public.

Set two comes from Patrick Harten, whose name you don't remember. He was the cool-headed air traffic controller who tried to talk the crippled plane back to the ground.

Harten was in Charlotte on Sunday for the third anniversary of the remarkable splashdown. In all, 52 passengers from the flight came to the museum, behind Charlotte Douglas International Airport, and took their old seats aboard the jetliner at 3:31 p.m., marking the moment the plane hit the frigid Hudson River.

Jan. 15, 2009 was a slow day by Harten's standards. He sometimes directs up to 20 planes at once, establishing contact when they're 100 feet off the LaGuardia runway and vectoring them for the next 40 miles or so.

Harten vividly remembers the last Flight 1549 (US Airways retired the flight number the next day). He was trying to turn the jetliner west after a routine takeoff when Sullenberger reported he'd hit birds and lost both engines.

Read the complete story at charlotteobserver.com

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