The Carolina Aviation Museum, adjacent to Charlotte Douglas International Airport, has something few – if any – aviation museums worldwide contain: the actual aircraft involved in a recent crash. The now-famous U.S. Air Flight 1549, A320 Airbus was originally scheduled to return to Charlotte on January 15, 2009 but was disabled by a flock of geese mid-flight. It’s known as the “Miracle on the Hudson” after Captain Chesley Sullenberger piloted the plane to a water landing on the Hudson River. Flight 1549 survivor Ben Bostic is a Charlotte-area native who grew up in Gaston County and moved to Ballantyne in the early 2000s. To learn more about the exhibit visit www.carolinasaviation.org.
The exhibit is unique because the entire actual aircraft will be preserved in a permanent exhibit at the Carolina Aviation Museum. Charlotte and New York City were the only two logical places for it. The exhibit is still very much a work in progress, relying on donations and volunteers to make it work.
In the museum, I’m most looking forward to an exhibit featuring visitors being able to actually enter the aircraft. I hope they are able to come up with a way for museum guests to see inside of the plane. Safety concerns will ultimately be the deciding factor on if and how that can be achieved.
My favorite part of living in Charlotte is that it isn't too large or too small. It's a virtual melting pot of residents from different parts of the country and world. That's great for the city and its growing cultural scene.
The accident taught me that a second chance at life is a gift. It made me reassess how I was living before the accident. I learned that even though I had a few regrets, I was doing a lot of things right. I learned to follow my heart more because there is no guarantee of tomorrow.
My life has changed because of the experience for the better. I would not wish such a traumatic experience on anyone, but it did open my eyes to a better perspective on life. Live without regrets. Life is a journey to be enjoyed every step of the way.