Maryville woman recalls "Miracle on the Hudson"

Sept. 13, 2016: Vallie Collins tells about being a passenger on the "Miracle on the Hudson" flight in light of the new movie "Sully."

MARYVILLE - Tense moments in history are now being recreated on the big screen.

We all remember when Captain Chesley SullenBerger landed an airplane on the Hudson River back in 2009.

His story, and those of the 155 passengers, hit the big screen this past weekend in the movie “Sully."

"It was intense, it was intense for me, and overall I think it’s a great movie,” said Vallie Collins.

Collins, was one of 155 passengers on that aircraft.

"We heard a boom and the plane sort of dropped,” Collins said. "Basically felt like we sort of stalled in the air, we quit climbing and there was no engine noise.”

Back in seat 26D, in the last row of the airplane, the Maryville native knew things were not okay.

“As humans we all know we are going to die, but none of us think it’s going to be today, and I sat in a moment where I thought it was today," she said. 

The wife and mother of three was returning home from a business trip when US Airways flight 1549 made the emergency landing in the Hudson.

"I went to the rear galley, which filled up to water about here, and it was 36 degrees,” Collins said. “Some days it feels like it was yesterday. Some days it feels like it was twenty years ago.”

“Sully” is now giving viewers a deeper picture into the "Miracle on the Hudson." Collins traveled to Charlotte with other passengers for a private viewing of the movie and then watched it again, surrounded by family.

"That time it was a little more emotional for me because I could sit back and see all the people I love and care about," she said.

While she feels most parts of the film were accurate, a few things were a different perspective.

“Specifically some of the evacuation, it felt a lot more chaotic and tense when you were live in the moment than it did in the movie,” Collins said.

What she praises, is Tom Hanks' portrayal of Captain Sully. 

“He basically pulled off what a lot of pilots and aviation people call the impossible. They got it right with Sully,” she said. 

If you wait through the movie credits, there is an ending scene with the reunion of all of the passengers.

(© 2016 WBIR)


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