The US National Transportation Safety Board (NSTB) has identified bird remains in the recovered left engine of the US Airways A320 that ditched in the Hudson River on 15 January shortly after pilots reported hitting birds and losing thrust on departure from LaGuardia airport.
The right engine, which remained attached to the aircraft, was previously found to contain bird materials as well. All 150 passengers and five crew safely evacuated the aircraft in the river and were rescued by nearby boats that afternoon.
The board says the aircraft's flight data recorder revealed no anomalies or malfuctions in either engine up to the point where the captain reported a bird strike, after which there was an uncommanded loss of thrust in both engines.
ATI had earlier reported that the A320's left engine continued to operate at 35% fan speed, enough to power electrical and hydraulic systems, allowing the pilots to configure the wing flaps and slats for ditching. The right engine was apparently operating at 15% speed.
The NTSB also reports that a surge event that occurred in the right engine of N106US two days before the accident was caused by a faulty temperature sensor which was later replaced. Investigators also verified that the provisions of an airworthiness directive specific to the CFM56-5B engines had been met by US Airways.
Analysts at the Smithsonian Institution are now attempting to isolate the particular species of birds using DNA techniques.