Wisconsin Co-Pilot's Wife relieved after Hudson River rescue - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Wisconsin Co-Pilot's Wife relieved after Hudson River rescue


OREGON (WKOW) -- Barb Skiles of Oregon, just south of Madison, had no idea the plane her husband was co-piloting had crashed until her phone rang. It was her husband, Jeffrey Skiles, telling her he was OK and not to worry.

"He definitely sounded winded or shaken,"   Barb Skiles told 27 News.

She says he told her they had to put the plane down in the Hudson River and everybody was OK. She added that, "Usually you don't get such good endings."

Jeffrey Skiles, 49,  was one of those at the controls of the US Airways plane that crash-landed in New York City's Hudson River.   All 155 passengers and crew escaped safely from the frigid river waters.

Barbara Skiles says in conversations she's had with her husband since the crash landing, he's credited others with carrying out an incredible rescue.

"He was really grateful and really impressed about the response that they got,  how quickly boats were at the side of the airplane, "   Skiles told 27 News.

"He said that probably saved lives, because if people had had to go into the water, it could have been really bad."

Jeffrey Skiles' father, Jim Skiles of Verona told 27 News his son did what he could to help after the crash, handing life jackets to passengers as they stood on the downed plane's wing.

Family members say Skiles has been flying since the age of 15 and worked almost 23 years for US Airways.

He was working as a co-pilot with the captain on the plane that went down.

Barb Skiles told 27 News her husband has never had a close call during his long career in aviation.   It's believed the collision of birds with the plane created the need for emergency action.

"He may have encountered birds before, maybe a single bird hit the windshield,"  Skiles told 27 News.

"But to hit an entire flock of birds and have it take out both of your engines is pretty unbelievable."

"(We're) just so grateful."

(The Associated Press contributed to this story) 

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