National Geographic Channel Premieres MIRACLE LANDING ON THE HUDSON Tonight
You've heard Sully Sullenberger's story of the emergency water landing of US Airways Flight 1549 in the Hudson River. The heroic acts in the cockpit have been told and retold to amazed audiences worldwide. Now, it's the passengers turn to tell their story. It's their own words, their worst nightmare, their will to survive the impossible.
Tonight, June 22, at 9 p.m. ET/PT, the National Geographic Channel presents Miracle Landing on the Hudson, a two-hour movie event told in depth with startling new details from the passengers and crew members aboard Flight 1549. Using intimate and emotive interviews as well as large-scale dramatic reconstructions, the film reveals that the crash itself was merely the beginning of the passengers' fight for survival. Produced by Raw Television, the multiaward-winning production company behind fan favorites such as Locked Up Abroad, American Blackout and the acclaimed feature documentary "The Imposter," the entire film is narration-free, instead told through the tense and horrifying recollections of the passengers on board that fateful flight.
Miracle Landing on the Hudson will air internationally on National Geographic Channels in 440 million homes in 171 countries and 45 languages. For more information, visit natgeotv.com and follow us on Twitter (@NGC_PR or @natgeochannel).
Even before a double bird strike destroyed the engines and plunged US Airways Flight 1549 into the Hudson River on that January 2009 day, some passengers were tense. Pam Seagle describes a disturbing dream about a smoke-filled plane one night and her thought upon taking that flight: "I shouldn't be doing this, shouldn't be doing it." Other passengers describe the anxiety that was pitted in their stomach when the gate was changed as well as the "rushed," "hasty" takeoff.
Tess Sosa, a new mother traveling with her infant son who was seated away from her husband and 4-year-old daughter, describes: "It was a maddening moment when we were just taxiing off ... there was a point where I stood up and I just wanted to get off the plane."
Eileen Shleffar had read information about plane crashes occurring in the first 90 seconds after takeoff: "I've made it a habit to count that off and then I feel a little safer. ... I start my count, 'One one thousand, two one thousand, three one thousand. ... I remember stopping and looking around and thinking, 'I've lost my count, what am I on?'" Then, just seconds later, a BOOM. "The first thing I thought of really was 9/11. I was terrified and I froze."
Throughout Miracle Landing on the Hudson, passengers recall the moment that the plane "just shook and shuddered," and the smell of "maybe an electrical fire" that filled the cabin.
"I looked out my left window and I, I saw sparks flying off the engine. Then it stopped suddenly. And it got really quiet. You could have heard a pin drop. It was all in slow motion," says Brad Wentzell.
"You're saying to yourself, 'Oh no, this is really happening.' And I looked to [the woman beside me], I said, 'I think you should pray.'"
We'll also be in the cabin when passengers describe their response to the captain's words "brace for impact!'"
· "I don't think many people hear those words and are here to talk about it afterwards," says Doreen Welsh.
· "This is really happening. I'm going to die," thought Wentzell.
· "As human beings, we all know we're going to die, but you never think it's going to be today. We always assume we've got a tomorrow ... that was not a true assumption anymore," says Vallie Collins.
· Says Jim Whitaker: "I don't even know if I can adequately describe what it's like to think, 'In the next moment, you're going to be dead.'"
Then, Miracle Landing on the Hudson brings to life the "extremely, extremely violent" landing on the water using one of the largest outdoor green screen re-creations ever filmed in the U.K., while The Real passengers give their second-by-second description of the anxious moments afterward: realizing they weren't dead, seeing the water quickly approaching their ankles and the ensuing pandemonium when people started crawling over the seats to get out.
From start to finish, Miracle Landing on the Hudson takes us inside the minds of 155 unexpected heroes and their amazing attempts to survive despite hysteria and fear on that ill-fated flight.
Miracle Landing on the Hudson is written and directed by Simon George and executive produced by Louise Norman. For Raw Television, executive producer is Bart Layton and executive in charge of production is Piers Vellacott. For National Geographic Channels, executive producer is Madeleine Carter, Vice president of production and development is Kevin Mohs and senior Vice president of production and development is Noel Siegel. Heather Moran is the EVP of programming and strategy.
National Geographic Channels
Based at the National Geographic Society headquarters in Washington, D.C., the National Geographic Channels US are a joint venture between National Geographic and FOX Networks. The Channels contribute to the National Geographic Society's commitment to exploration, conservation and education with smart, innovative programming and profits that directly support its mission. Launched in January 2001, National Geographic Channel (NGC) celebrated its fifth anniversary with the debut of NGC HD. In 2010, the wildlife and natural history cable channel NAT GEO WILD was launched, and in 2011, the Spanish-language network Nat Geo Mundo was unveiled. The Channels have carriage with all of the nation's major cable, telco and satellite television providers, with NGC currently available in 84 million U.S. homes. Globally, National Geographic Channel is available in more than 440 million homes in 171 countries and 45 languages. For more information, visit www.natgeotv.com.
Raw TV LTD
Raw TV was founded in 2001 and since then has made numerous popular and award-winning shows for broadcasters including NGC, Discovery, A&E and CBS in the United States and the BBC, Channel 4 and Five in the United Kingdom. Raw is all about great stories told with style and has built a reputation for bringing visual flair and gripping storytelling to everything they do - from factual programs and drama documentaries to digital projects and current affairs. Notable output includes long-running Nat Geo series Locked Up Abroad, which is about to air its ninth season; smash-hit Reality Show "Gold Rush: Alaska," the highest-rated series of all time on the Discovery Channel; and critically acclaimed feature documentary "The Imposter," winner of many international awards and shortlisted for an Oscar in 2013.