STEPHEN MALLON – DOCUMENTING FLIGHT 1549
It was a frigid January evening and Stephen Mallon was sitting in a bar in New York City during happy hour with his wife. Images of U.S. Air flight 1549 were all over the TV. The ‘Miracle on the Hudson” had captivated a nation starving for some good news. Captain Sullenberger’s heroism had eclipsed the mortgage meltdown and Wall Street implosion, at least for one day. Mallon and his wife, like all Americans, were buoyed by the story, but in an instant, Stephen realized it might translate to something even more personal – the assignment of a lifetime. He had worked for the salvage company, Weeks Marine, in the past. Maybe they would get this job, too. He reached for his cell phone.
The next morning, Stephen was on a tugboat in the icy Hudson, camera in hand. It would be a week and a half long ordeal before all of the wreckage of the downed jet was out of the water and into a New Jersey warehouse, and Mallon would be there to document every step. With the largest marine crane on the East Coast, Weeks Marine was hired as subcontractor and they in turn hired Mallon. It was a commercial job, but Mallon knew it was much bigger. While all other photographers were kept well back from the scene, Mallon had exclusive access. “There was this element of surrealism,” Mallon remembers. “I felt like was walking around on a film set. It was amazing.”
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