NEW YORK - (AP) - Divers searching for the engine that broke offthe US Airways plane that safely splashed down in the Hudson Riverlast week found it Wednesday in hard mud about 65 feet below thesurface of the murky, frigid water.
New York Police Department and New Jersey State Police harborofficers working with a sonar expert from the NationalOceanographic and Atmospheric Administration got a reading on theriver floor Tuesday of an object 16 feet long and 8 feet wide nearwhere Flight 1549 made its emergency landing.
Divers went into the water around 2:35 p.m. Wednesday andlocated the left engine in about 10 minutes, NYPD spokesman PaulBrowne said.
The Army Corps of Engineers dropped a 1,500-pound cement anchorwith a light attached near where the engine was thought to be. NYPDdivers Paul Reynolds and Michael Delaney used the anchor line toguide themselves down to the engine and were within 2 feet of it.Delaney was involved in the rescue efforts after the Jan. 15 crash,pulling passengers from the icy water.
Divers had been unable to locate the object found Tuesday afterrunning out of daylight and being stifled by swift currents thatmade it impossible to drop a robotic device with a video camera toconfirm whether it was the engine.
Investigators want to closely inspect the engine once it ispulled from the water to better understand if it conked out afterhitting a flock of birds shortly after the plane's takeoff fromLaGuardia Airport.
National Transportation Safety Board salvage crews will work torecover the engine from the water; it wasn't immediately clear whenthat would happen.
Police have already located several pieces of debris from theflight, including 35 flotation seat cushions, 12 life jackets, 15pieces of luggage, two briefcases, 11 purses, 15 suit jackets andshirts, four shoes and two hats, Browne said. The plane's rightengine was still attached to the body of the plane.
The Airbus A320 crash-landed in the Hudson after hitting thebirds and losing thrust in both engines. All 155 people on boardthe flight, which had been bound for Charlotte, N.C., survived.
The rest of the plane was taken by barge to a Jersey City, N.J.,marina over the weekend to be studied by investigators.