NEW YORK - A joyous celebration was held in Charlotte, North Carolina Tuesday featuring the passengers and crew of US Airways Flight 1549 who recalled the Miracle on the Hudson they all shared exactly 10 years ago.
One woman called it a "class reunion on steroids."
"I had a quick out of body experience and then I quickly went into the Lord's Prayer," recalled another Flight 1549 passenger.
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The man who delivered that miracle on On January 15, 2009 was Captain Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger. He was front and center at the gathering.
"We had to very quickly take what we did know, adapt it, apply it in a new way to very quickly solve this problem and get it right the first time in less than 3 1/2 minutes," Sullenberger said.
The passengers cannot forget the moment several Canada Geese flew into the engines, disabling them, after the plane took off from LaGuardia Airport.
"It was a very foreign feeling - the plane actually shuddered and kind of stopped in mid-air," said one passenger.
Bird strikes are actually common - happening somewhere every single day. Over the last decade, LaGuardia has seen more than 1500 of them. Area airports actually have programs to kill birds by trapping or shooting them to reduce the threat.
"All around the world jets get hit by birds and most of the time it just results in blood on the wings and windshield, but no damage," explained Peter Russo, Vaughn College of Aeronautics and Technology.
The number and size of the geese that entered Flight 1549's engines made this kind of bird strike extremely rare and threatening. Unfortunately, experts cannot rule out it happening again one day.
"If you make an engine that can survive the kind of damage that Sully experienced that engine would be so heavy and so substantial that it would distract from plane's performance," said Deb Henneberry, Vaughn College of Aeronautics and Technology.
Experts say when a plane hits a bird there's not much anyone can do except pray it doesn't cause any significant damage - and hope a pilot like Sullenberger is at the controls.
"I'll think about it in times of stress. Hey, thank God he gave you the gift of life because my wish was only to see the sun for one second," said one Flight 1549 passenger.
All 155 passengers and crew survived that day.
The survivors stood on the wing of the plane in freezing water until they could be rescued by ferry boats.
It's believed to be the most successful marine rescue in aviation history.