Try your skill at landing a plane on Hudson River

Mon Feb 2, 2009 6:34pm EST
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By Walker Simon

NEW YORK (Reuters) - First came the heroics of landing a crippled passenger jet on the Hudson River in New York City. Now there are the video games.

"Hero on the Hudson" challenges players to steady a plane nosediving toward the busy river. In "Double Bird Strike," the goal is to evade flocks of birds -- a suspected cause of the US Airways jet's near disaster on January 15.

Both are free online games created by units of MTV Networks, a division of Viacom Inc. Free games, which make money by selling advertising, are seen as a promising segment of the $22 billion U.S. video game industry.

Players can try to emulate the skill of pilot Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger, who won acclaim for his smooth emergency landing on the Hudson River that saved all 155 people aboard.

"Hero on the Hudson" has been played more than 1.4 million times since it was launched on January 21, said Kate Connally, spokeswoman for its creator AddictingGames. Average success takes three tries.

"If you land it correctly like the pilot did, then the passengers come out and cheer on the wing," she said. "The payoff is the joy of having saved all the passengers."

The plane sinks with burbling sounds if you fail.

"Double Bird Strike," which launched on January 18, may be trickier. Scott Roesch, general manager of creator, said it took him at least a dozen tries to succeed.   Continued...

<p>Passengers stand on the wings of a U.S. Airways plane as a ferry pulls up to it after it landed in the Hudson River in New York, in this file photo from January 15, 2009. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid</p>