Updated: April 2019
“Brace for Impact!”
On January 15, 2009, US Airways Flight 1549 was just three minutes into its routine flight from LaGuardia Airport in New York City to Charlotte Douglas International Airport, when at 3:27 pm EST during its initial ascent the twin-engine Airbus A320-200 struck a flock of Canada geese at an altitude of 2,818 feet causing both engines to fail. Rapidly losing altitude, Captain Chesley B. “Sully” Sullenberger and First Officer Jeffrey Skiles decided to attempt an unpowered emergency water landing in the Hudson River as they could not reach any airfields nearby. Without the engines running, it was suddenly very silent in the plane. Seconds later Captain Sullenberger announced through the plane’s speaker system: “Brace for impact!”. With not much time left, the three flight attendants repeated the Captain’s instructions and prepared the 150 passengers in the cabin for impact as much as they could. The aircraft turned southbound and glided over the Hudson River. Just three minutes after both engines had lost power, the plane hit the water near midtown Manhattan. Several passengers suffered injuries, a few of them severe, but only one passenger required overnight hospitalization. What a miracle this was.
The original Airbus of US Airways Flight 1549, which landed in the Hudson River, is on display at the Carolinas Aviation Museum and has understandably become one of the museum’s centerpieces.
DC-3: A Legend of the Skies
In the 1920s commercial aviation started to take off but the cost of operating an airline was very high. Back then a plane could only carry up to 10 passengers. Only very few wealthy passengers could afford the high ticket prices. The airlines were continually challenging aircraft manufacturers to increase passenger capacity while lowering fuel consumption and cost per passenger. It was a huge step forward when the Douglas Aircraft Company introduced the DC-3 in 1936. The DC-3 could carry 21 passengers across the continental USA in less than 16 hours. It was the first time that air travel had become a viable industry. By 1941 nearly 75% of all passengers were flying DC-3s, and the total number of air passengers had increased by 600%. It is probably fair to say, that the DC-3 had shaped the transportation industry in a way that can still be seen today.
Also during and after the Second World War the DC-3 or C-47, how its military cargo-version was called, played an essential role in delivering supplies all around the world. It was also the C-47, which served as backbone during the Berlin Airlift (1948-1949), supplying an entire city with all it needed to survive the Russian blockade of all roads, waterways, and canals from Western Germany.
Want to Sit in a Cockpit?
It’s quite an experience if you sit in a cockpit for the first time. All the instruments, dials and knobs are impressive, to say the least. The Carolinas Aviation Museums offers visitors the opportunity to sit in the cockpit of a Boeing 727-100, an aircraft, which Boeing has sold over 1,800 times. The cockpit on display was used as a procedures trainer, where pilots learned how to operate a Boeing 727.
You can also switch over to the narrow cockpit of an F-4 Phantom II, which was in the final active-duty Marine Corps F-4 squadron based at MCAS Barbers Point, Hawaii.
Mon. to Fri.: 10am to 4pm.
Sat.: 10am to 5pm.
Sun.: 1pm to 5pm.
During the hot summer season please keep in mind that the museum does not have air-conditioning.
Seniors (60+): $10.00.
College Studen (must present valid Student ID): $8.00.
Active Duty Military: $8.00.
Children (4-17): $8.00.
Children (under 4): free with family visit.
Free on-premise parking.
Children under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult. Pets are not allowed in the museum.
A short movie gives background information about the heroic landing on the Hudson River.
The Carolinas Aviation Museum is accessible by wheelchair.
Restrooms are located in the Visitor Pavilion.