Capt. Sully reunites with passengers on 10th anniversary of 'Miracle on the Hudson'

Capt. Chesley Sullenberger recalled how he and his co-pilots pulled off the incredible emergency landing in the Hudson River as passengers described their final thoughts during the harrowing plunge.
8:50 | 01/16/19

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Transcript for Capt. Sully reunites with passengers on 10th anniversary of 'Miracle on the Hudson'
I didn't feel and could deceive you two. That's where you guys have changed the world ultimately. It was a reunion you thought. It's a how are you look at. I don't mind and a decade after their plane made an unimaginable emergency landing on the Hudson River. Passengers from flight 1549. Gathered beneath its wreckage yesterday say this could be resolved Fred does this. There to greet the man widely credited with saving their lives captain Chesley Sully Sullenberger. But this is. Their seat numbers once un near death sentence now a badge of honor. Twelve after winning 6820. Exceed one city. What's it like being here today in the shadow of this plan thankful. Gratitude grateful always every. Appreciation for all these extra days we didn't think. Just before the impact it was so. Just awful because you've. I'm counting down the very last seconds not my life. It all begins. Ten years ago Jim today January 15 2009. So honored to be here. Right where it all took place right here it's a very vivid reminder to be here than to note that. This is the place where it all had to happen. At 3:25 PM US Airways flight 1549 took off from New York's LaGuardia Airport bound for Charlotte, North Carolina. Less than three minutes into the flight. The lives of all 155. People on board would be forever changed. The Texas 1530 and ideas first period for the drug development center during back towards LaGuardia. Minutes after about. The holding back. Started. On the same prayers. There was intense it was suddenly just 100 seconds or take off. We were suddenly confronted where this ultimate challenge of a lifetime. V8 320 paralyzed after encountering a flock of geese air traffic controllers jumping into action to find a quick landing site. I did fifteen point nine but he did it did you want to try to land when anyone break. We're unable or even into production. You far to return to LaGuardia controllers suggesting an emergency landing at nearby Peterborough airport. Which runway would like it here brown Kabila. We had only a few minutes to decide where on the Earth's surface. We should play and I had to make sure that happened at the best possible place. But it happened to be right here are the only place. There are flooding distance that was long enough smooth and of wide enough even to attempt a landing at large. Gender letter and this was your landing stretch we made a runway out of a river. Inside the plane Eric Stephenson prepares for the worst at C twelve F. As we were going down I'm thinking will resume last seconds. I hold out some business card and I wrote on the back of the business card to my mom and my sister I love you. And I showed that in my pocket. Because I thought that he aircraft exploded due we at least it would be new my body and he knew I was thinking of them has been going down. Down the aisle at the nineteen F Jim Whitaker volunteers to protect the flights youngest passenger. I asked this very brave courageous woman if I could hold her baby. Because that was obviously the smallest passenger on board and if anyone was gonna survive hopefully it was going to be this one. Seconds later. Unthinkable there is an airplane down in the Hudson River right along. Manhattan fit that pattern pretty hard right. But the nightmare was far from over. I'm lackluster and people who impact and when I hear that Warner that was 36 degrees of I honestly softer maybe I wasn't making. When the plane hit the water and the water rushed in the back of the plane it was frigid cold and that's how I knew I was still alive. The water was up to hear any listen 35 degree water so is like needles have to survive this impact and now it's now back here thousand scariest night. On the shore ABC's Robin Roberts witnessing the crash from her apartment overlooking the Hudson. It was. Just. An amazing landing the fuselage never broke up or anything like bats. He understood how to fly that aircraft without power and if you watch the way he landed it. That was a bit of piloting expertise. The terrifying flight turning into a miraculous rescue. Within minutes local ferry boats rushed to rescue the passengers standing on the wings. Have now I've got to get out. When you see an aircraft go down like that you're worried that nobody's gonna get out. But there actually you're getting the first view of it we can just see the tail of the US airplane. Sticking up over the water there are a number of very is right around it. The first New York waterway ferry. Arrived three minutes 55 seconds after we touch the water. Remarkably all 155. Souls on board survived. Including that baby tucked into Jim winner Chris arms. It's amazing how tough children arm and a nine month old baby. Turned sideways can be held just like a football and in a 150 miles an hour hitting that water. It was truly an amazing experience at that child didn't even crack until we came to a complete stop. Ever the heroic pilot Sully is the last one to leave the plane I was on pins and needles for four. Terrifying hours until finally that evening still in the hospital being evaluated like afterwards it was official everyone every count and everyone was sentenced. That only then could. Fueled the weight of the university lifted off my heart. That we'd of the universe is now known as the miracle on the Hudson. It was an American home no it was hard work on the part of many people the entire industry over many decades so was everyone pulling together. To not let anyone. The harrowing tale of survival from the writer for a Hollywood retelling. Appropriately titled selling. Cash is 5049. Plus plus bundled into that we are turning back towards the war. What do you all think of Tom Hanks playing your hair spot on. It editing it was so he's better looking first of all I was more qualified as a I'm a little bit color. In the film solely as grilled by investigators for potential wrongdoing. Certainly frustrated that our job. But in reality the NTSB investigation he heaped praise on Sully and his co pilot Jeff Skiles. For saving the lives of everyone on board. In the movie it looked like they were second guessing them and they were to a degree but he came out with flying colors and what he did was exactly the right thing. A decade after the so called miracle on the Hudson lessons have been learned. The airplanes that are being built today are being built to a higher standard to be able to withstand. The impact of birds on the blades or on the fuselage itself. But it's always going to be a problem of having Byrd's running and airplanes that is not going to go away. I think the aviation ministry is learned that automation can save lives can make this industry safer. But when something bad happens if the automation fails. Nothing alike have an amazing per. I'll in the cockpit who can fly an aircraft. And bring it down six. With the passage of time I have even greater appreciation for how much. Went right and how much we accomplished that I think everyone involved. This group of strangers. We're able to rise to the occasion to face this sudden unanticipated challenge and make it their mission life deceit that everyone Melissa. Surviving against the odds. The passengers of flight 1549. All have the same message for their hero thank you for sale. Thank you court ever thank you very caring for all of us are thankful of course you simply serve them and didn't ask for. I think we all different jobs certainly my crew are first officer Jeff Skiles are platitudes contradictory relationship but dale. New York waterway whose vessels coldest from the frigid Hudson and hold the first responders of New York villagers. And silly if the same thing we're similar thing happened today with the outcome necessarily be the same thing could you do it again. Course and wants enough.

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

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