Federal investigators said on Saturday that the right engine of US Airways Flight 1549 is still attached to the plane,contradicting their earlier statements that both the engines had broken off after the aircraft hit the water.
National Transportation Safety Board spokesman Peter Knudson said the water was so murky that the authorities couldnt see the engine. Were now looking for one engine,not two, he added.
Investigators encountered more treacherous conditions on Saturday as they embarked on the delicate task of trying to hoist the jet from the Hudson River without damaging the airplane. Big patches of ice had formed around the plane on Saturday morning as the temperature fell to 6 degrees.
National Safety Transportation Board member Kitty Higgins said the agency and salvage company officials were still trying to work out the logistics of how to lift the 80-tonne plane onto a barge.
Investigators began interviewing the pilot,Chesley B Sully Sullenberger,and his co-pilot for the first time on Saturday,said NTSB spokeswoman Bridget Serchak.
Authorities want to closely inspect the engines to figure out how exactly the birds caused the plane to fail so badly and so fast. The lost engine could be 30 to 50 feet down,obscured in thick sediment.
Meanwhile,the pilots status as a national hero rose as he took a congratulatory call from the President and President-elect and earned effusive praise from passengers on the plane.