A piece of American history made a slow trip through Delaware, and hundreds witnessed the journey of the famous plane that landed on the Hudson River. The fuselage is on its way to an aviation museum in North Carolina.
Delawareans lined highway overpasses and gathered on grassy slopes near the Delaware Memorial Bridge to get a prime viewing spot as the 120-foot fuselage came into view.
Brendan McWhirter of Liberty, Missouri was visiting his grandparents, who woke him up to tell him the plane would be coming down the highway.
“It was pretty cool, actually. It was something else,” Brendan said. “I’ve never seen an airplane on the highway.”
The plane, minus its wings, began its trip Saturday from Harrison, New Jersey, traveling mostly on back roads to avoid highway overpasses. The fuselage and the wings will be reunited at the Carolinas Aviation Museum in Charlotte, North Carolina.
The oversize load traveled an estimated six-miles-per hour as it crossed the Delaware Memorial Bridge, proceeded north on Route 9, then turned onto Terminal Avenue before proceeding south on I-495.
The plane piloted by US Airways captain Chesley Sullenberger was on its way from New York’s LaGuardia Airport to Charlotte in early 2009. A flock of geese flew into the engines shortly after takeoff. The engines lost power, and Sullenberger guided the plane into the Hudson River between New York and New Jersey. All 155 passengers were safely rescued, some of them as they were standing on the plane’s wings in the icy water.
“I think it’s a fantastic idea to honor this man who put his life on the line,” said Doug Crossan of New Castle. He added seeing the plane at ground level is impressive.
“It’s immense. A lot bigger than I thought,” Crossan said.
Sullenberger, known as “Sully,” is expected to take part in a ceremony at the Carolinas Museum this weekend.