The last major bird strike accident to a passenger flight was on 4 October, 1960, when an Eastern Air Lines Lockheed Electra turbo prop struck a flock of seagulls on leaving Boston’s Logan Airport and crashed killing 62 out of the 72 people on board.
It was later found that the birds had stopped three of the four engines.
Eyewitness accounts of the US Airways crash a short while ago in New York imply it had lost power in both engines before its departure from La Guardia airport ended in a gliding splash down in the freezing Hudson River. It is reported to have flown into a cloud of birds that had gathered near the end of its runway.
The speed with which the A320 was evacuated and all 148 people on board rescued by boats was captured in real time from many angles. Everything appears to have worked exactly as intended in emergency evacuation drills. The passengers standing on the wings almost looked like they were waiting for a train at peak hour. Except that it was -6C, and they had just left the bus, an Airbus.