After the Hudson, Finding a Home at an Aviation Museum

US Airways Flight 1549 may make it to North Carolina after all.

The plane, which splash-landed in the Hudson River two years ago next week, may soon be bound for the Carolinas Aviation Museum in Charlotte, the museum’s president said on Wednesday. But it would have to travel there on the back of a truck because it no longer has its engines or its wings or tail.

With Capt. Chesley B. Sullenberger at the helm, the plane took off from La Guardia Airport for a two-hour flight to Charlotte on Jan. 15, 2009. Minutes later, after striking a flock of geese that knocked out both of its engines, it was floating in the frigid Hudson.

After all 155 of its passengers and crew members were rescued, the plane was fished out of the water and hauled to a warehouse in Kearny, N.J. There it has sat for almost two years. It has been taken apart, combed over by federal crash investigators and put up for auction — apparently without a taker.

Now, Shawn A. Dorsch, the president of the museum in Charlotte, says he is in the “very final, final stages” of negotiations to acquire the plane and its parts from Chartis, the company that insured the plane for US Airways. Mr. Dorsch declined to say whether Chartis would receive any money for the plane, an Airbus A320. A Chartis spokeswoman declined to comment, as did a spokesman for the airline.

One of the museum’s supporters, Mark C. Brickell, a Wall Street banker who lives in Manhattan, said the museum would have to cover the cost of transporting the fuselage and other pieces to Charlotte and reassembling them. “It’s not an inexpensive proposition, and it requires a lot of support,” said Mr. Brickell, a Wall Street banker.

Mr. Dorsch said he intended to invite museumgoers to watch the reassembly, which he said would probably take months. He said he hoped to move the plane in May. He talked to Mr. Sullenberger on Wednesday, he said, and the retired pilot has already promised to send the uniform he wore on the last flight to be included in the exhibit.

Charlotte’s mayor, Anthony Foxx, said his city was a fitting site for the plane because about 100 residents of the area were on Flight 1549 and because aviation is a big industry there. “We hope that when all is said and done we have a monument to not only the heroism but a way of framing a conversation about aviation safety and creating a vehicle to teach kids about aviation,” Mr. Foxx said.

Officials of the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum, which is on an aircraft carrier docked just a few hundred yards from where Flight 1549 hit the water, briefly considered trying to obtain the plane but decided that it was not presentable.

Mr. Dorsch thinks otherwise. “This is a tremendous artifact,” he said. “The Coke cans are still in the serving cart, the manuals are still in the cockpit. It has the dent from the tugboat, the dents from the birds. All of that is part of the story.”

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Bills Aim to Relieve Hydrant-Related Parking Headaches

Frank Caffiero owns a small restaurant supply business in New York City, which sends him zipping around the five boroughs in his black sport utility vehicle making deliveries several days a week. This means that Mr. Caffiero spends lots of time searching (and searching and searching) for an elusive, precious piece of real estate: a parking spot.

“It stinks, particularly in Manhattan,” Mr. Caffiero said on Wednesday from his front seat on the Upper West Side. “Anyone that helps the cause would be a folk hero.”

Mr. Caffiero may have just found his Robin Hood — or Robin Hoods, rather.

Two City Council members have introduced legislation would change the no-parking zones in front of fire hydrants.

One bill, introduced last month by Councilman David G. Greenfield of Borough Park, Brooklyn, would require that the curb in front of a hydrant be painted red to mark the illegal spots. The other bill, which has languished since its introduction in the spring, would shrink the size of those no-parking zones to 10 feet on either side of a hydrant, from 15 10 feet.

“There is nothing more frustrating than trying to follow the law, making a good-faith effort, and getting a $115 parking ticket,” said Mr. Greenfield, who parks his own car on the street.

Which city agency would actually handle the paint job — the Fire Department, the Department of Transportation or another agency — will be hashed out in Council hearings, Mr. Greenfield said.

The paint color, however, has already been chosen.

“It matches the fire trucks,” he said. “I thought my 4-year-old son would like the idea.”

In addition to saving on parking tickets — Mr. Greenfield admits that he gets his fair share each year — the councilman said he hoped that his bill would create more spaces. If the lines were made clear, he explained, then drivers would not be tempted to plant themselves as far away from the hydrant as possible, even if it means creeping a few feet into the next spot.

But not every New Yorker is enthused about his proposal.

“It’s enough already,” said Michael Silverman, a retired executive, as he and his brown poodle, Penny, climbed into his S.U.V. on Amsterdam Avenue. “Have you noticed all the bike lanes? All of these lines everywhere. It gets to be too much.”

The other hydrant bill, introduced by Councilman Daniel Dromm of Jackson Heights, Queens, has encountered opposition based more on practicalities than aesthetics: The Fire Department insists that it needs the entire 15 feet on either side.

“Most of our engines are at least 30 feet long,” said Steve Ritea, a Fire Department spokesman. “Our engines don’t necessarily parallel-park, but there are various places along the rig that they need to be able to access.”

Mr. Dromm said cities like Toronto and Minneapolis functioned perfectly well with just 10 feet (or three meters) of restricted hydrant parking. While he has encountered some criticism, he said, the public’s response has been positive.

“Every person I meet on the street thinks it’s fantastic,” he said. He said he’d gotten more passionate feedback on the subject “than any other issue — except for snow removal.”


Our City Hall reporters offer an inside look at New York’s government. Check back every Wednesday for updates. Have a tip? E-mail [email protected]

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