Engine of plane that landed in Hudson found

Thursday, January 22, 2009
Scuba divers return to a New York City police vessel, Wednesday, Jan. 21, 2009, in New York after confirming the discovery of the left engine from U.S. Airways flight 1549 that was lost when the plane made a dramatic emergency landing in the Hudson River last Thursday. The missing engine was located in mud about 65 feet below the water's surface. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

NEW YORK -- Divers on Wednesday found the missing jet engine that broke off a US Airways plane when it splashed down in the Hudson River, locating it in mud about 65 feet below the surface.

New York Police Department and New Jersey State Police harbor officers working with a sonar expert from the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration had gotten a reading Tuesday of an object 16 feet long and 8 feet wide near the spot where Flight 1549 made its emergency landing.

Divers went into the icy, murky water Wednesday and located the left engine in about 10 minutes, NYPD spokesman Paul Browne said.

Investigators want to closely inspect the engine once it is pulled from the water to better understand how it stopped running after the plane hit a flock of birds shortly after taking off from LaGuardia Airport last Thursday.

The rest of the Airbus A320, with its right engine still attached, was placed on a barge and has been taken to a New Jersey marina to be studied by investigators.

After the sonar reading, divers were unable to locate the object Tuesday because they ran out of daylight. The swift current also made it impossible to drop a robotic device with a video camera to confirm that the object was the engine.

The Army Corps of Engineers dropped a 1,500-pound concrete anchor with a light attached to mark the spot.

On Wednesday, NYPD divers Paul Reynolds and Michael Delaney used the anchor line to guide themselves down to the engine. Delaney also was involved in the rescue efforts after the Jan. 15 crash landing, pulling passengers from the icy water.

There was no immediate indication when National Transportation Safety Board salvage crews would retrieve the engine from the river bottom.

Police had already located several pieces of debris from the flight, including 35 flotation seat cushions, 12 life jackets, 15 pieces of luggage, two briefcases, 11 purses, 15 suit jackets and shirts, four shoes and two hats, Browne said.

All 155 people on board the flight survived. They had been bound for Charlotte, N.C.

Associated Press Airlines Writer Harry R. Weber in Atlanta, AP writer Tom Hays in New York and AP writer David Porter in Trenton, N.J., contributed to this report.

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