Hudson River Plane Crash Pilot on Lifesaving Decisions

The woman whose small plane's engines failed explains how she and her passenger survived.
2:22 | 01/31/13

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Transcript for Hudson River Plane Crash Pilot on Lifesaving Decisions
Now, to that incredible rescue in the crash-landing on the icy waters of the hudson river by an airplane. The hero pilot is speaking out for the first time about how she accomplished this feat. John muller has the story. Mayday. Reporter: As she stares death in the face, she is calm and cool. Denise depriester koch. Landing her plane on sunday night. I had faith in my schools. I had faith in good. And I have faith in us being team together. Reporter: She says the sightseeing trip went all wrong when the engine failed. I was focused like a robot on the landing because it was dark. Reporter: Passenger, kris smith, followed her lead. At the first sign of trouble, she looked at me and said, don't manic. Reporter: They described the impact as smooth. But second, a death-defying drama unfolded. The plane starts to sink. We're in the water. We're filling up. We have to bail. Reporter: They plunge into frigid, 35-degree water. I'm going to lose you. I'm going to lose you. The water's freezing. Reporter: Battling hypothermia for almost 30 minutes, ignoring the cold. My adrenaline was spiking so much. I was just swimming like I was in the tropics. There wasn't one second where she was not positive and kept me going. Reporter: The pair was plucked out of the hudson by off-duty police officers who heard their calls for help. I want to thank everybody who was helping us to make it through. Reporter: She even gives thanks to sully sullenberger, whose emergency landing on the hudson saved 155 lives in 2009. Your example made me be determined to make a safe landing on the water. Reporter: A preliminary report by the ntsb should be out next week. When I asked her about sully sullenberger, she lit up and said, can you help me meet them? Sully, if you are watching "gma," there's a fellow pilot with hudson river experience that wants to meet you. I'm so impressed. Thank you, john. Time to go to sam for another look at the nation's weather. Hey, sam. Good morning, you guys.

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

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