‘Sully’ plane is top attraction at aviation museum
  • Tuesday, January 22, 2019
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Globe Trotting| Travel

‘Sully’ plane is top attraction at aviation museum


    The crumpled bottom of the jet, which became detached when the US Airways Airbus 320 jetliner made initial contact with the Hudson River, is positioned below the tail of the Airbus at the Carolinas Aviation Museum in Charlotte, N.C. Inset, passengers wait to be rescued on the wings of the plane Jan. 15, 2009.


CHARLOTTE, N.C. >> The 2016 movie “Sully” didn’t get much Oscar love; the Tom Hanks film was up for only one Academy Award — for sound editing.

But the biopic got a lot of people flocking to the Carolinas Aviation Museum, home of the actual plane that Capt. Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger landed safely in the Hudson River. Visitor numbers more than doubled after “Sully” hit the big screen in September, museum spokeswoman Jan Black said.

The storied plane is the centerpiece of the aviation museum near Charlotte Douglas International Airport, where the Airbus A320 was scheduled to land on that fateful day eight years ago.

US Airways Flight 1549 had just taken off from New York when it struck a flock of Canada geese, disabling its engines. Sully made an emergency water landing, and every one of the 150 passengers and five crew members survived the “Miracle on the Hudson.”

The recovered aircraft was moved in 2011 to the museum — an appropriate resting place given that at least half of the people onboard were from Charlotte, a major hub for US Airways, which completed its merger with American Airlines in 2015.

The museum’s hangar collection is dominated by the “Miracle on the Hudson” jet. To accommodate the height of the Airbus tail, the hulk sits low — maybe 4 feet above the pavement — on a custom-made mount. Monitors facing the 137,789-pound airliner show 2009 newscasts, interviews with passengers and the recovery of the Airbus from the Hudson.

But your attention keeps returning to the unrestored Airbus: the bottom that detached when making initial contact with the Hudson; the dings, dents and other mayhem visited on the lower fuselage; the left engine separated from the jet and recovered later. You can still spot dried “snarge,” the guts of geese that crippled both engines.

Adult admission to the museum is $12. Click here for more information.

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