Family Remembers 'Miracle On The Hudson' 5 Years Later

11:23 AM, Jan 16, 2014   |    comments
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by RAD BERKY / NBC Charlotte

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Passengers' lives changed in the infamous event that became known as Miracle on the Hudson.

Dave Sanderson remembers hearing the sound of the geese that knocked out both engines on Flight 1549 in the minutes after it took off for Charlotte, and he remembers thinking he was in trouble.

"That moment came when Capt. Sullenberger said, 'Brace for impact.' No one said a word on the plane until he said that, and when he said it, I knew something was about to happen," Sanderson recalls.

Back home in Charlotte, his daughter Chelsey came home from school to find a message on the family answering machine.

"And it said, 'This is your dad, and I've been in a plane crash.' And then it was just white noise and faded out," Chelsey says.

Dave and 154 others on board survived.

"Ever since that moment, I don't take him for granted anymore," Chelsey explains. "I want to spend time with him."

They take fly wheel classes now, but that wasn't always the case. When the crash happened, Chelsey was 17 and admits her and her dad were not very close. Dave, too, readily admits it.

"I felt like I waster her high school years. I wasn't really with her. I was really focused on other things," he says.

Now, Chelsey treasures her dad and the time they spend together, and Dave focuses on his relationships with his family.

"We spend so much time together, and it has really brought our father-daughter relationship back to where it should be - even better," Chelsey says.

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