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Washington County residents turn out to watch as famous jetliner rolls through

June 07, 2011|By CALEB CALHOUN | caleb.calhoun@herald-mail.com
  • The fuselage of a plane that safely crash-landed in the Hudson River in 2009 was carried by truck through Washington County Tuesday on Interstate 70. The Airbus A320 jetliner is being transported to the Carolinas Aviation Museum in Charlotte, N.C.
By Caleb Calhoun/Mobile Journalist

WILLIAMSPORT — Dave Dehaven of Hagerstown said he just wanted to watch a bit of history on Tuesday.

"This is something that we probably won't ever see again in our lifetime," he said.

Dehaven parked in the emergency lane at the Greencastle Pike (Md. 63) exit of Interstate 70 to watch as the fuselage of US Airways Flight 1549 was driven down westsbound I-70 on the back of a truck.

Luckily for Dehaven, the truck actually stopped at Greencastle Pike and he was able to get a longer look.

The plane, which made national news after it crashed safely into the Hudson River in 2009, was driven through Washington County on Tuesday afternoon via I-70 and Interstate 68 on its way to the Carolinas Aviation Museum in Charlotte, N.C.

The truck carrying the plane took up two lanes of the highway as traffic moved slowly behind it.

"I have been following it since it left (New Jersey) and I really wanted to come and see it," Dehaven said. "I just wish more people would have come out and see history in the making."

The people driving the plane have been stopping periodically since it left from Harrisburg, N.J., on Saturday.

Shawn Dorsch, president of the Carolinas Aviation Museum, says that the convoy planned to stop at the first scales in West Virginia off I-68 Tuesday night.

Dorsch they hope to reach Bluefield, W.Va., Wednesday, and arrive at the museum Friday morning.

People gathered on overpasses and even parked in the emergency lane on I-70 to watch the plane go by.

Dorsch, who thought of the idea to drive the plane down the interstate and put it on display, said he was amazed at the number of people that showed up to see it.

"This is an internationally recognized aviation icon," he said. "I think the whole story of (the plane) really represents the heights of human technological achievement and heroism."

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The pilot, Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger, became a national celebrity after he made an emergency landing in the Hudson River with more than 150 people aboard.

Dorsch added that the story was great because so many people could relate to it.

"Most people in our society have flown on, or know somebody who has flown on a commercial airplane," he said. "It's a very common type of transportation method."

People can track where the plane is on a GPS at www.jsupor.com/popup.html.

According to Dorsch, the GPS briefly went down on Monday, and more than 540 people called in wondering what happened.

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