The story

The pilot who landed a crippled US Airways jetliner on the Hudson River thought there would have been "catastrophic consequences" if he tried to make it to a nearby airport, a National Transportation Safety Board official said Saturday night.

Instead, pilot Pilot C.B. "Sully" Sullenberger decided to ditch the plane in the Hudson River close to vessels moving about the water "to improve chances of recovery," NTSB board member Kitty Higgins said. It was the first time the public heard comments from Sullenberger and first officer Jeffrey B. Skiles describing Thursday's emergency landing.

Skiles was flying US Airways Flight 1549, bound for Charlotte, North Carolina, when he noticed a flock of birds less than 90 seconds after the plane had taken off from New York's LaGuardia International Airport, Higgins said. Read full article »

CNN's Mike Brooks, Jeanne Meserve, Richard Davis and Mike Ahlers contributed to this report.

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