Thanks this morning to Wired's AUTOPIA blog for bringing us this gem: the 1999 Airbus A320-214 that US Airways Capt. Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger landed in the Hudson River last Jan. 15 is up for auction.
[Photo credit: L.A. Hayes]
Chartis Insurance Group, the company that took possession of the surprisingly intact aircraft after paying off its policy, is accepting bids on the item -- As is/Where is (New Jersey) -- through March 27, Autopia reports. No reserve is listed.
The listing doesn't include the aircraft's engines or avionics. However, the company does note that the aircraft was treated with a corrosion inhibitor last summer.
The listing doesn't mention the aircraft's place in history, either. Autopia's John C. Abell notes that the "remarkably bland" ad may reflect an effort to assuage objectors:
Of course this sort of salesmanship may mute objections that Chartis should profit even from what was the happily ended tragedy of flight 1549. The company most likely will not recoup its payout (well, not with this kind of low-pressure pitch) and has a fiduciary responsibility to mitigate the loss it incurred from paying US Airways for its loss.
In spite of the remarkably smooth landing, this aircraft (s/n 1044, tail N106US) wasn't expected to fly again. It was pulled from the Hudson within days of the accident, its wings and tail removed, the fuselage sent to a secure hangar for further testing.
O&M reported estimates to repair the aircraft that fell between $18.5 million and $20 million, but in the current economy, many carriers are looking to downsize fleets--not spend money repairing an essentially totaled aircraft.
"They cut off the wings, they cut off pretty much the whole empennage," said National Transportation Safety Board spokesman Peter Knudson told O&M last year. "This plane will not fly again. I can promise you that."
Instead, Sully's A320 has found its way to the auction block. It will be interesting to see where it comes to rest.