Jan. 15 (UPI) -- The survivors and crew members of US Airways Flight 1549 gathered in Charlotte, N.C., on Tuesday to recognize the 10th anniversary of the so-called "Miracle on the Hudson."
The event at the Carolinas Aviation Museum remembered the flight on Jan. 15, 2009, that made a safe landing in New York City's Hudson River after hitting a flock of birds that disabled the plane's engines.
Aviation officials and the plane's passengers credited the pilot, Chesley Sullenberger, with guiding the Airbus A320 safely to the surface of the water. All passengers and crew members aboard the flight survived.
Jeffrey Skiles, the first officer on the flight, told WCBS-TV in New York City there could have been a different outcome under different circumstances.
"The one thing I can tell you is I am very happy to have been flying with Captain Sullenberger on that day and I could not have had a better colleague on that day or since," he said.
Many of the passengers and crew members gathered for a private lunch at the museum Tuesday. Some recalled how they felt when they realized there was an emergency and the relief when they exited the plane into the icy cold waters or to stand on the wings of the aircraft.
"It's this weird bond that you don't have to explain. If there aren't any words that go with it. You don't have to explain it, you just look at each other and you know, yeah we did do that together," passenger Jim Whitaker told WSOC-TV in Charlotte.
Another passenger, Barry Leonard, said the group has a reunion every year on the anniversary in New York. He said a number of the survivors struggle with post-traumatic stress disorder.
"It really helps give us a forum to get together and to cry on each other's shoulder if we need to about things, to help support each other," he said. "It's always been an important event, I think, for all of us."
Sullenberger, 67, told Good Morning America that he believes the "Miracle on the Hudson" resonated with people because it was an uplifting story during a time of frustration -- the financial meltdown of 2008-09.
"I think some people had begun to doubt human nature," he said. "And then along came this group of strangers who rose to the occasion and made sure that everyone survived and I think at a time when we all needed it, it gave us hope."