Miracle on the Hudson

Mason McKnight, Guest Writer

“Sir, sir! Wake up, Sir! We have begun boarding,” says the passenger service agent while shaking me somewhat violently. I see her walk back to her desk and her assistant is continuing to call people up. As I sit up and look around, I see most of the people are already on the plane. I’ve been asleep a while I guess. I swear I got here early just so I wouldn’t miss my boarding time. Michelle was right she told me I would miss my boarding time. Finally, I heard the attendant call out, “We will now start boarding first class.”  I glance down at my ticket. I was sitting in the very back of the plane. So it will be a while. I decided I should get a snack since I missed breakfast. I saw a little shop right across the strip that had the basic airport stuff in it. I walked over and grabbed some snack s and headed back to my seat. Right as I sat down the attendant they started announcing sections. I grabbed my carry on and my snacks and started walking to the gate. By the time I got there, trying to manage my half broken suitcase and my mismanaged snacks, I was last in line. We slowly creep forward toward the gate attendant that was checking the tickets. I could tell that everyone was tired from the econstant moans and groans. Well, I guess it was a lunchtime flight. When I got up to the desk she said “ticket” and I handed it to her she scanned it and she said, “sir you’ve been upgraded to first class.” I said “wow thank you” and she handed my ticket back while saying “your welcome sir now just walk straight in” and another attendant walked in behind me and shut the door. I guess I was the last to board the plane. When I got in the plane I found my seat which was “A1” the very first seat.  I finally sat down and put my seat belt on and waited for us to leave. I sent one last text to my wife saying, “I love you, honey, I’ll call you when I land” then I turned my phone off and sat and waited for us to push back and taxi to the runway. I heard the engines start, and I felt the nudge from the tug tractor pushing us back. We finally got out and I felt the engines start to ramp up and I saw the control surfaces start to wiggle from the pilots doing the preflight check. I reached up into the overhead compartment and grabbed my MP3 player. “Sir sit back down and buckle your seat belt” screamed the flight attendant from the back of the plane. We lined up for the runways I heard the engines go to full throttle and we slowly leaned back as the plane started to pitch up and begin to climb. The city is beautiful from a bird’s eye view. I heard the landing gear click into their upright position and we were off. THUNK BOOOOM!! I looked out the window and both engines were on blowing a lot of smoke and fire. I could tell we weren’t high off the ground and we were slowing down. I don’t know what the pilots are going to do. The flight attendants stepped into the hall way and started yelling “BRACE, BRACE, BRACE”  over and over again. I looked out the window and I saw that we were really close to buildings and we were straight in line with the Hudson River. I quickly got down with my hands against the seat in front of me and quickly started praying. “Lord please give the pilots knowledge and help me survive this.” I looked out the window again, and we were only about 50 ft off the water so I got down quickly! I then felt the hard smack of the Airbus a320 smack the water. We slowed down rapidly which caused me to hit my head on the seat in front of me. When we came to a stop the attendants started yelling directions on how to get out. Slowly the water level rose and it started getting my feet wet in the cold 19-degree water. I got up slowly and looked around making sure people were ok. I followed a young lady to the door and we saw the attendants directing people on to the wing of the plane. The wing was already crowded enough and they kept cramming people on it. There were 100 people on each wing and the water is half way up are legs. I’m so cold, I didn’t dress to be swimming in the winter of New York. Everyone huddled together hoping to get every bit of heat out of each other as possible. It hurts so bad and my feet are going numb. After a few minutes, we started hearing sirens and heard helicopters starting to fly towards us. A ferry boat and a few police boats got to us and we hopped aboard all of them. Everyone got to the shore safely and no one died thankfully. I picked up my phone that I was surprised that still worked and dialed Michelle’s number and she picked up crying. I told her I was alive and told her we just landed sooner than expected.