'Miracle on the Hudson' Survivors Reunite to Relive Their Incredible Stories of Survival
Seven years after Captain Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger splash-landed a plane on the Hudson River, his grateful passengers have reunited to relive the incredible story.
Thirty-five passengers from US Airways Flight 1549 traveled to the Carolinas Aviation Museum in Charlotte, North Carolina, where the aircraft now lives after being fished from the Hudson River.
"It's amazing that all of us survived that day," one passenger told Inside Edition.
Their reunion comes ahead of Friday's release of Sully, the Clint Eastwood-directed film that documents the captain's heroic actions.
His flight was traveling from New York's LaGuardia Airport to Charlotte Douglas International Airport in January 2009 when it flew into a gaggle of geese, causing both engines to fail.
"I heard a loud boom," passenger Ben Bostic recalled. "The plane shook violently, then I looked out the window and saw the left engine on fire."
Mark Hood and Denise Lockie were sitting next to each other in first class.
"That's when I leaned over and grabbed Denise's hand," Hood said, "and I knew we were going to die."
Captain Sully announced he would be making an emergency landing in the Hudson River.
For Michele Winegar, hearing Sully say "brace for impact" was the most emotional part of the ordeal. When the plane landed in the river, she felt freezing water rising around her.
"We just survived a plane crash and now we're going to drown," she thought.
But all 155 passengers and crew were able to evacuate the plane by climbing out onto the wings.
The survivors, many of whom haven't seen each other in years, marveled at the aircraft, which stayed largely intact during the splashdown.
"That's part of the miracle," one passenger said. "It only sustained minor damage. We were all able to get out and ultimately no loss of life."
For the passengers' messages to Captain Sully, tune in to Inside Edition on Friday.