Stephen Mallon was the only photographer with access to the US Airways Flight 1549 salvage effort. He discussed some of his photos and described what it was like to document the aftermath in an exclusive interview with "Up to the Minute" anchor Michelle Gielan.
Mallon first gained access to the salvage effort through a photography client of his, Weeks Marine, Inc. "I have a project on the recycling industry... that was where the relationship began," says Mallon. "When the aircraft landed in the Hudson River, I was in a bar with my wife... I don't remember if it was the voice in my head or someone at the bar saying, 'I wonder how they're going to get the plane out!'" Mallon knew immediately that Weeks Marine would be hired for the job. "I knew that they had one of the largest cranes on the east coast to do this kind of salvage operation," says Mallon.
Throughout the salvage effort, Mallon's close relationship with Weeks Marine allowed him to gain exclusive access to points of view that were even closed off to the press. He was able to capture some amazing moments, from the plane being lifted out of the water to the vessel's slow journey through parts of northern New Jersey. "One of my favorite moments was when a woman... [asked], 'What's going on?' and I was like, 'There's an airplane coming!' and she was like, 'Shut up!'" says Mallon.
The photos were even the subject of an article featured on www.Wired.com. They'll also be featured at the Front Room Gallery in Williamsburg, New York, on September 18, 2009. To visit the gallery's website, click here to be linked to www.FrontRoom.org.
Or, if you'd like more information on Stephen Mallon, visit his website, www.StephenMallon.com, by clicking here.
By Erin Petrun