Ditched jet had fault two days earlier

Safety investigators said today the US Airways jet that crashed into New York's Hudson River had a compressor failure two days earlier.

National Transportation Safety Board spokesman Peter Knudson said the board's examination of the Airbus 320's maintenance records showed there was an entry in the aircraft's maintenance log that indicated a compressor stall occurred on 13 January.

He said the board planned to interview the pilot flying the plane that day about the incident.

Mr Knudson said NTSB investigators had so far found no anomalies or malfunctions with Flight 1549 from the time it left the gate at LaGuardia Airport on January 15 to the point the pilot reported a double bird strike and a loss of power in both engines.

In recordings taken from the plane's black box flight recorders, pilot Chesley Sullenberger says the plane, carrying 155 people, has hit birds and lost both engines shortly after investigators heard "the sound of thumps and a rapid decrease in engine sounds".

Capt Sullenberger then discussed alternate landings at New Jersey airports before deciding to attempt the river landing. Ninety seconds before ditching the plane, he told passengers to "brace for impact" and informed controllers "they will be in the Hudson River".

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