WINGMAKERS Airbus celebrated fantastic flying by an American pilot which saved the lives of 155 people travelling in the ill-fated US Airways Airbus A320 from New York.

Heroic former US fighter pilot captain Chesley B Sullenberger steered the stricken passenger jet clear of midtown Manhattan before ditching it in the frozen Hudson River after both engines failed.

Terrified passengers were seen huddled together on the Broughton built wings, waiting to be rescued.

Airbus communications manager Pam Kingsley-Williams said: “All wings for all Airbus variants - including the Airbus A320 operated by US Airways which was involved in the accident last week in New York - are built at Airbus’ Broughton plant. We are obviously proud of the wings we produce.

“However, we most certainly would not wish to detract attention from the pilot, whose heroism and experience undoubdedly saved so many lives. Or indeed the speedy and smooth evacuation of all the passengers.”

Flight 1549’s black box flight recorder showed the aircraft had reached 3,200ft when both engines failed at the same time after hitting a flock of birds.

Passengers told how they screamed, prayed and scrambled to safety as the plane hit the water at 125mph, minutes after take off from La Guardia Airport.

Capt Chesley B Sullenberger told investigators he was “too low, too slow” and ditched in the river to avoid a “catastrophic” smash.

Investigators will now inspect the US Airways Airbus 320 which was slowly winched out of the icy waters of the Hudson over the weekend.

The jet was hoisted on to a barge where the damage from impact was evident. Its top half seemed unscathed but a wide gash on its underbelly revealed the force with which it landed.