The heroic pilot of US Airways Flight 1549 is Chesley B. “Sully” Sullenberger. He successfully crash landed the plane in the Hudson River on January 15, 2009, saving his passengers and crew of 155 and brings new meaning to “the right stuff.” See photos and video of the remarkable unfolding events that have become a miracle instead of a tragedy.
**UPDATE**Scroll down for video of Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger’s speech at homecoming ceremony on January 24, 2009.
**UPDATE**F.A.A. released Flight 1549 Audio, Transcript
The twin-engine Airbus 320 Flight 1549 took off from New York’s La Guardia airport to Charlotte, NC and crashed in the Hudson River near the Lincoln Tunnel at around 3:30pm local time, within minutes of take-off, apparently disabled by having hit flying geese, according to flight investigators.
See more pictures and details: Plane Crash Hudson River: US Airways Flight 1549 Photos, Video of the dramatic unfolding events, as the U.S. Coast Guard, New York police boats and several ferry boats converged upon the scene and began rescuing the passengers as they stood on the wings of the plane as it floated in the water.
The right pilot at the right time, the USAF veteran nicknamed Sully executed a skillful landing, and is hailed worldwide as a hero. He has forty years of flight experience and is the CEO of an aviation safety consulting firm, Safety Reliability Methods, Inc. (SRM). According to his Web site, Chesley Sullenberger “has served as an instructor and Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) safety chairman, accident investigator and national technical committee member. He has participated in several USAF and National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) accident investigations.”
The hero of Flight 1549, pilot Chesley B. Sullenberger III, walked the aisle of the downed US Airways jet twice looking for passengers before exiting the plane he safely ditched in the Hudson River, saving the lives of more than 150 people onboard.
“It would appear that the pilot did a masterful job of landing the plane in the river and then making sure everybody got out,” New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg said of the veteran pilot and Air Force Academy graduate.
One of the first rescuers on the scene said Sullenberger seemed impervious to the chaos around him.
“He looked absolutely immaculate,” the rescuer said. “He looked like David Niven in an airplane uniform. He looked unruffled. His uniform was sharp. You could see him walking down the aisles making sure everybody got out.”
Sullenberger maintained his calm facade in a phone call to his wife, fitness expert Lorrie Sullenberger, after his death-defying heroics.
“When he called me, he said, ‘There’s been an accident,'” she told CNN. “At first I thought it was something minor. But then he told me the circumstances, and my body started shaking and I rushed to get our daughters out of school.”
UPDATE: for more about Chesley B. Sully Sullenberger’s background and bio see: Pilot’s heroic journey started long ago
Video reports on the dramatic Miracle on the Hudson River
UPDATE – January 16, 2009 video interview with Chesley B. ‘Sully’ Sullenberger’s wife, fitness expert Lorrie Sullenberger and their two daughters.
**UPDATE**Video of Lorrie Sullenberger and Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger’s speeches at homecoming ceremony in Danville, CA on January 24, 2009.
Video report on the homecoming
- Plane Crash Hudson River: US Airways Flight 1549 Photos, Video
- Lorrie Sullenberger: Chesley B. ‘Sully’ Sullenberger Wife (Video, Photos)
- Chesley B. ‘Sully’ Sullenberger New York Magazine February 2009 Cover, Photos
- Flight 1549 Audio: Miracle on the Hudson Flight Tapes, Transcript