Another Hero Pilot Survives Hudson River Plane Crash
A woman pilot radioed a message that every flier dreads.
She was about to crash into the icy waters of the Hudson River in New York, in the middle of the night.
It was like a flashback to the other miracle on the Hudson, when airline pilot Sully Sullenberger ditched his jetliner and saved the lives of every one of his 155 passengers.
This time, though, it was a light plane that was in trouble, with a flying instructor, Denise De Priester, and her student, Chris Smidt.
Denise said, "My confidence and calmness came from Sully's experience, and he was an example for me.
"I said, 'How hard are we gonna hit that water, what's it going to feel like when we hit the water, and are we going to survive the impact," said Chris.
The plane ditched, and Smidt managed to call 911 on his cellphone.
"We're in the water, we're filling up. We're gonna have to bail," he said in the 911 tape. The operator asked, "Can you get out of the plane?"
But then, the moment they feared: The plane started to sink.
Chris said to the 911 operator, "The plane's going down! Let's go, get out, get out, get out. It's going head first.
Chris continued, "I'm out of the plane. I'm gonna lose you! I'm gonna lose you! The water's freezing. I need a boat, we're not gonna make it to shore."
Ominously, the line suddenly went dead.
"It was unbearable," said Chris.
Denise said, "My adrenaline was pumping so high."
Denise and Chris were plucked from the frigid waters by rescue crews. Both wanted to thank the men who saved them.
And Denise also had a message for the other hero of the Hudson.
"Sully, thank you for showing me your example, and I really hope to meet you one day," Denise said.