Plane that landed in Hudson visits N.J., Del.

June 6, 2011 2:57:22 PM PDT
The US Airways plane that landed safely in the Hudson River in 2009 is traveled through South Jersey and Delaware Monday on its way to a North Carolina museum.

To actually see it up close brought so many thoughts to mind. What were the passengers thinking upon their terrifying decent? How did they get everyone out so fast? How cool and collected was Sully in the pilot's chair?

And, that other question on Monday:

"I don't know how they're going to get it over the bridge," said Nancy Sommers of Pennsville. "I would love to be following it. And I wouldn't want to be the truck driver."

The 120-foot fuselage from the famed Airbus A320 jet began its 650-mile journey from a North Jersey hangar to a North Carolina museum over the weekend. The trip started in Harrison, N.J. on Saturday. It was a slow and cautious trip.

The aviation artifact spent Sunday night in Pennsville, on the Jersey side of the Delaware Memorial Bridge, much to the delight of this small, Salem County town.

"The survivors, the pilot, the hero, you know," said Debbie Heller. "We don't see things like this in our rural area."

The fuselage is in the condition you would expect, after landing on a large body of water at high speed. The underside is dented, some pieces of metal are turned up, and there are gaping holes where the wings used to be. The wings were shipped separately.

To get it across the Delaware River, J. Supor and Son Hauling Company needed to keep the flatbed truck way below the speed limit. And police had to block off the southern span of the Delaware Memorial Bridge to all traffic to give it room.

As quickly as it came and went, people who live in this are say they will always remember this as the day a huge chunk of history paid a visit.

"I was mowing the grass," said Mark Schultz of Quinton, N.J.

"And I caught Action News this morning," chimed in Liz Schultz, "and they said it was in Pennsville, and I'm off today, and here we are."

The cargo is due to arrive at the Carolinas Aviation Museum in Charlotte, N.C. on Friday. That hero pilot, Captain Chesley Sullenberger, is scheduled to speak at a reception there on Saturday.