Ferries and other vessels rushed to the crash site to rescue passengers who were standing on the plane's wings as it floated in the water.
The plane ditched in the river shortly after take off from LaGuardia Airport in New York on its way to Charlotte, North Carolina. Initial reports said a bird strike had knocked out two of the aircraft's engines.
The pilot brought the plane down in a cloud of spray in the fast moving river, which runs to the west of Manhattan Island.
The Federal Aviation Authority said the plane had 148 passengers and five or six crew aboard and confirmed all passengers had been safely rescued. US Airways said everyone on board the plane was accounted for.
Police helicopters hovered overhead, while four large ferries and several smaller boats gathered near the plane and the Coast Guard dropped life jackets into the water for survivors amid frigid temperatures.