The day after Chesley Sullenberger miraculously landed an Airbus A320 in the Hudson, Ian wrote about the BBC News simulation of the emergency water landing using Flight Simulator X. The main criticism of this was that they used a game to make a video, as opposed to something playable by the reader. It didn't take too long for US Air Flight 1549 games to appear, however. Hero on the Hudson, Double Bird Strike, and the French game Hudson's Crash are all Flash games about landing a plane on the river.
I believe these games follow the trend of the news media's coverage of the event: because a disastrous situation was averted, we don't have to exhibit the reverence and mourning of a tragedy. In terms of media coverage, this means focusing on the feat that was landing a plane with no engines safely in a river along the largest city in the United States. While some attention has been given to why the flight went down (discussions of migratory patterns of Canadian geese), the story that most people have taken away was that "Sully" miraculously landed an airplane and everybody was okay.
On the one hand, given the attention that is usually given to tragedy in the news (the old 'if it bleeds it leads' mentality), this was a welcome change of pace. However, the situation was complicated by the Continental Airways flight that crashed outside of Buffalo, NY a mere month after a major disaster was averted. These two events, when compared, illustrate major differences in reporting. They also reveal some of the difficulties of creating games about current events and suggest the possible journalistic roles of a game. Putting these events in game form forces us to ask questions that aren't the heart of the traditional media's story.