"Cactus 1549, New York departure. Radar contact. Climb and maintain one, five thousand."
But seconds after take-off things changed dramatically for "Cactus 1549," the tower call sign for the US Airways flight.
"This is Cactus 1549. Hit birds, turning back to LaGuardia."
Captain Chesley Sullenberger immediately knew he had a serious problem.
"Bird strike - he lost both engines."
"Cactus 1543, which engines?"
"He lost both engines, he said."
Air traffic controllers cleared runways at LaGuardia, Newark, and Teterboro airports.
"I’m not sure if we can make any runway."
The plane was running out of power the crew out of options.
"We can't do it. Which other runway do you want at Teterboro? We're going in the Hudson."
Other pilots saw the emergency landing unfold.
"He's on the Hudson River. He's just about a mile and a half north of the Lincoln Tunnel. Last sighted below 900 feet. We still got a target on him, but he looks like he's low level."
And as the jet splashed down, a call for help.
"You get anybody. You send them right to the Lincoln Tunnel. We had a cactus airbus go down in the water."
At that point, teams on the ground took over. The water rescue ending an amazing story of survival that started with the quick thinking -and actions- of the crew on flight 1549.