Miracle on Hudson survivor recounts life-changing crash

FILE - In this Jan. 15, 2009 file photo, passengers in an inflatable raft move away from an Airbus 320 US Airways aircraft that has gone down in the Hudson River in New York. More than seven years after an airline captain saved 155 lives by ditching his crippled airliner in the Hudson River, now the basis of a new movie, most of the safety recommendations stemming from the accident have yet to be followed. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews, File)

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — Before he heard “brace for impact” from Captain Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger, Matt Kane saw something frightening.

“About a minute into the flight we hit some major turbulence, I saw something flying out of the engine and I could see that a fire started,” said Kane.

Matt Kane was living in Connecticut at the time and was heading to Charlotte for business on Flight 1549.

He was sitting in seat 24A, toward the back of the plane. His experience, along with 155 others, is now being brought to life on the big screen.

Kane saw the movie.

“I thought it was very realistic,” he said.

Nothing will compare to that experience on January 15th, 2009.

“It was probably the hardest landing I ever had, I actually had a laptop in front of me and when we landed, it actually split my forehead,” said Kane.

He survived the landing into the frigid waters of the Hudson, but more was to come.

“The most interesting thing about it was how quickly the water came in – it was extremely cold, 35, 36 degrees,” said Kane.

In seconds, water was up to his waist, he was sitting in the back of the plane, and needed to get to the front to escape.

“When it did clear out actually, since I was one of the last ones off the flight, I looked up and looked to both wings and they already full,” said Kane.

That’s when he saw the pilot responsible for safely landing the plane.

“I see Sully there, waving me on saying come on, come on,” said Kane.

It’s Sully’s character the movie is based around, with Tom Hanks in the lead role. In time, Matt Kane was able to meet Sully Sullenberger, even speaking with him during an engagement.

“My dog is named Sully, I brought that up in the presentation that we did in front of about 4,000 people.

The laughter that came off that, it’s just to say thank you for what he’s done and how he’s done it.

“It will be an event that will never be forgotten for myself, it reminds me to put everything in perspective,” said Kane.

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