Passengers: First Engine on Fire, Then Frigid Water

Pat Smith, spokesman for the New York Waterway, which operates the ferries that came to the plane's rescue, said the location was near the "waterway commuter route [and] as many as 10 ferries can respond within minutes at this time of day."

Bird Strikes Happen 'All the Time'

John Ostrom of the Metropolitan Airports Commission out of Minneapolis chairs the Bird Strikes Committee, which advises the aviation industry on wildlife management to eliminate possible hazards.

"There's a variety of ways a bird can take down a plane," he told ABC News today. "There have been instances where birds the size of robins bring a plane down, all the way up to Canada geese."

Birds can fly into plane engines, shutting them down, or cause pilots to lose control of the plane by penetrating the windshield. And there's not much pilots can do to avoid bird strikes, which happen "every day," according Ostrom.

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