The Miracle on the Hudson -- in Capt. 'Sully's' Own Words

This is a rush transcript from "On the Record ," February 5, 2009. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: You've wanted to hear the tapes for weeks, and now you will, the FAA releasing cockpit tapes of Captain “Sully” Sullenberger during his dazzling emergency landing in the Hudson River. In just a moment, we'll get a reaction from a passenger who survived the unbelievable water landing, but now the tapes. Moments after takeoff, after hitting a flock of birds and losing both engines, Captain Sully radioed LaGuardia.


CAPT. CHESLEY SULLENBERGER, U.S. AIR: This is Cactus 1539 (SIC), hit birds. We lost thrust in both engines, returning back towards LaGuardia.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK. You need to return to LaGuardia. Turn left heading about two-two-zip.

SULLENBERGER: Two-two-zip.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Tower, stop your departures. Got an emergency returning.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's 1529 (SIC). He -- bird strike. He lost all engine -- he lost the thrust in the engines. He's returning immediately.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Cactus 1529. Which engines?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He lost thrust in both engines, he said.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Cactus 1529, if we can get it to you, do you want to try to land runway 1-3?

SULLENBERGER: We're unable. We may end up in the Hudson.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE) 2760, turn left, 070.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All right, Cactus 1549, it's going to be left traffic to runway 31.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ok. What do you need to land? Runway four is available if you me to clear traffic on runway four.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Anything in New Jersey, maybe Teterboro?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Off to your right side is Teterboro airport. Do you want to try to go to Teterboro?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: 1529 over the George Washington bridge wants to go to your airport right now.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Does he need assistance?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. It was a bird strike. Can I get in for runway one?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Runway one, that's good.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We can't do it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK, which runway would you like at Teterboro?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're going to be in the Hudson.


VAN SUSTEREN: Another air traffic controller talked to a helicopter near 1549's flight pay. The chopper crew watched Captain Sully's splash- landing from the sky.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He is at 900 feet of being in the north Hudson. It looks like he is descending into the Hudson River. It looks like this may be an incident here.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's at 12:00 and it 2.5 miles.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Two tango alpha, roger. Is he still flying?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He's still flying. Going down.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Two tango alpha, roger.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He hit the water.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Roger. I am going to need to stay with me if you can so we can keep an eye on where they are.



VAN SUSTEREN: Joining us live is Fred Berretta, who survived flight 1549 splash landing.

Fred, thanks for joining us. Fred, as you listen to those tapes, what do you think?

FRED BERRETTA, FLIGHT 1549 SURVIVOR: Well, it makes me relive the flight all over again, and confirms the incredible job that Captain Sullenberger did. Obviously, he was very calm, cool, and collected, and he made the decision very quickly on where we needed to go, and ruled out the options with Teterboro and La Guardia. And, obviously, that decision saved all of us lives.

VAN SUSTEREN: What was it like when the plane actually hit the water? What did it feel like?

BERRETTA: It felt pretty tremendous from where I was sitting, which was a few rows behind the left wing, where I believe the Captain dropped the plane kind of on its belly on the water.

And I know I hit my head a couple of times, I believe, on the seat in front of me. Loud noise, and the water was splashing over the airplane, and you could kind of here the roar of that.

So it felt pretty tremendous, but, clearly, it was a great landing, and, obviously, not strong enough to tear the plane apart.

VAN SUSTEREN: Fred I was on a plane that did an emergency landing, and we knew about it about a half hour before we made the landing, obviously a safe landing. But it was absolutely silent, not a passenger making a noise on the flight when we knew we were in trouble.

What was it like on your cabin, quiet, or were people making noises?

BERRETTA: For the most part, it was really quiet and calm. I heard a few emotional cries as we were going down into the water, but it was incredibly calm.

I have seen other passengers talk about it and read articles, and really I do not think there was enough time for people to think too much about it. And the captain's voice was calm when he told us to prepare for impact, and that helped us.

And everybody was really for the most part silent.

VAN SUSTEREN: I know that Captain Sullenberger gets high marks from the entire nation, especially from you guys who were the passengers. U.S. Air, you admire them for the way they have handled this post splash landing, don't you?

BERRETTA: Absolutely. I think the crew has done a great job. I've seen them go around in interviews, and they were here in Charlotte this past week. And U.S. Airways has done a great job taking care of the passengers and following up, and their family support center has been incredibly supportive.

The whole experience has just been very uplifting.

VAN SUSTEREN: Indeed it has. And, of course, we are all so inspired.

Anyway, Fred, it's nice to be able to see you, and what a great story, ended up being a great story, anyway. Fred, thank you for joining us.

BERRETTA: Thank you.

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