New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg paid tribute to the pilot of Flight 1549.
He said: "It woud appear the pilot did a masterful job of landing the plane in the river and making sure everyone got out." The pilot "walked the plane twice" to ensure all passengers had got out before leaving the plane himself.
Mayor Bloomberg said the NTSB would be investigating the cause of the accident and would be arriving in New York this evening.
At the same press conference, New York Governor David Paterson also paid tribute to the US Airways pilot and called the rescue a "miracle on the Hudson".
In a live interview with a rescued passenger identified as Alberto Panero, CNN's Wolf Blitzer reported that all passengers are safe and that the emergency exit was smoothly handled by US Airways staff.
When asked about his feelings immediately after the rescue Alberto Panero replied, "It was a near death experience (that) thankfully did not turn that way." Passengers are crediting pilots and crew with averting a potential tragedy.
TV pictures showed passengers standing on the wings of the plane in the frigid waters. Ferries surrounded the plane, an Airbus A320.
Flight 1549 information
For updates on Flight 1549 try the US Airways hot line 1-800-679-8215 Doug Parker, US Airways CEO, is asking that only family and loved ones of passengers use this number.
Flight 1549, an Airbus A320, was at maximum capacity of 150 seats when it went down, and the total number on board including pilots and crew was 155. As many as 71 people are believed to have been treated for minor injuries at nearby hospitals, including four reported cases of hypothermia.New Jersey Police report that the airliner's pilot signalled a mayday following the bird strike and then was able to fly the plane to the Hudson River and ditched the aircraft. The plane went down near 48th Street in midtown Manhattan.
Federal Aviation Administration spokeswoman Laura Brown says the US Airways Flight 1549 had just taken off from LaGuardia Airport enroute to Charlotte, N.C., on Thursday when the crash occurred in the river near 48th Street in midtown Manhattan.
Brown says the plane, an Airbus 320, may have been hit by birds.
The plane was submerged in the icy waters up to the windows. Rescue crews had opened the door and were pulling passengers in yellow life vests from the plane. Several boats surrounded the plane, which appeared to be slowly sinking.
Janis Krums from Sarasota, Florida posts the first photo of U.S. Airways flight 1549 on Twitter from his iPhone. Thirty-four minutes after Janis posted his photo, MSNBC interviewed him live on TV as a witness). twitpic.com/135xa