A Look Back at the 'Miracle on the Hudson'

It's been five years since a US Airways plane safely landed on the Hudson River.
3:00 | 01/15/14

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Transcript for A Look Back at the 'Miracle on the Hudson'
Today marks five years since the so called miracle on the Hudson. Captain Chesley Sullenberger or Sully as he's known save the lives of 155. People by making an unbelievable landing on the Hudson River you. US Airways flight in just taken off from LaGuardia when a flock of birds jam the plane's engines. We open ABC news vault to January 15 2009. From an ABC news headquarters this. Old news -- Charles Gibson. Good evening you get a call like we did this afternoon and you immediately feared the worst good morning America's Robin Roberts called -- there's a plane down in the Hudson River she reported. An airliner. US air flight 1549. Had just taken off from New York's LaGuardia Airport bound for Charlotte the Airbus -- -- one it was fully loaded. 150 passengers and crew onboard. Within minutes the plane crash landed into the icy waters of the Hudson River. All indications are the plane struck something a bird strike most likely. The pilot used the river as a runway in order to make a water landing. And the great news everyone made it off the plane safely John Berman starts our coverage tonight. He was a stunning scene on the frigid Hudson River I was -- the big. A terrifying flight turned into a miraculous rescue. A race to save lives from the sea and air commercial water fairies in city firefighters rushed to the sinking plane. Pulling passengers from the icy waters. It was an astounding -- to a five minute flight. US Airways flight 1549 took off from New York's LaGuardia Airport headed to Charlotte, North Carolina its path -- -- north. Then a short -- southwest over the -- it. Three minutes into the flight the pilot reported -- bird strikes he told controllers he wanted to return to LaGuardia. He apparently couldn't make it. Officials say the pilot looped around once before heating the water to give passengers a chance to prepare for impact passengers climbed on the wings as the plane filled with water. Floating down the river in the swift current. It would appear that the pilot did a masterful job of landing the plane in the river. And then making sure that everybody got out. Mentioned just what a great decision that pilot made his name Chesley Sullenberger the third. Graduate of the United States Air Force Academy used to fly F four phantom jets went in. The military. And Mayor Bloomberg said that the pilot Sullenberger Sully they call and walked the plane twice after it was on the surface of the water to make sure there were no more passengers. On board. Five years ago today Sully Sullenberger I'm like -- -- this guy. He's so the real deal well yeah he -- become a reality show star hasn't been on cheesy television commercials has become an advocate for airlines say he's become a best selling author. This guy is just the real deal a disease -- class. The NEA calls that the most harrowing three minutes of my life he said and after that he actually suffered from insomnia but he did you go back to flying for some time. I'm originally and I suppose I know exactly I think I'd retire but not this guy is exactly says even more about what an incredible I don't make them like that -- he's just really incredible.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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