The pilot of the US Airways plane saved the lives of all his 155 passengers by executing a perfect emergency water landing, and deserves recognition for his extraordinary accomplishment. I hope the Obama people will invite him as a distinguished guest to the inagural ball. While they’re at it, co-pilot Jeff Skiles should also be invited.
Here’s more on “Sully” Sullenberger:
Hudson River hero is ex-Air Force fighter pilot
The pilot who guided a crippled US Airways jetliner safely into the Hudson River — saving all 155 people aboard — became an instant hero Thursday, with accolades from the mayor and governor and a fan club online.
The pilot of Flight 1549 was Chesley B. “Sully” Sullenberger III, 57, of Danville, Calif., an official familiar with the accident told The Associated Press. Sullenberger is a former fighter pilot who runs a safety consulting firm in addition to flying commercial aircraft.
Sullenberger, who has flown for US Airways since 1980, flew F-4 fighter jets with the Air Force in the 1970s. He then served on a board that investigated aircraft accidents and participated later in several National Transportation Safety Board investigations.
Sullenberger had been studying the psychology of keeping airline crews functioning even in the face of crisis, said Robert Bea, a civil engineer who co-founded UC Berkeley’s Center for Catastrophic Risk Management.
Bea said he could think of few pilots as well-situated to bring the plane down safely than Sullenberger.
“When a plane is getting ready to crash with a lot of people who trust you, it is a test.. Sulley proved the end of the road for that test. He had studied it, he had rehearsed it, he had taken it to his heart.”
Sullenberger is president of Safety Reliability Methods, a California firm that uses “the ultra-safe world of commercial aviation” as a basis for safety consulting in other fields, according to the firm’s Web site.
Sullenberger’s co-pilot was Jeff Skiles, 49, of Oregon, Wis., a 23-year US Airways veteran.
Governors Paterson of New York and Corzine of New Jersey, and New York’s mayor Bloomberg should also celebrate Sullenberger and Skiles for their extraordinary heroism.
Backyard Conservative says Skiles took the shirt off his back for a passenger.
To deal with an extremely serious problem — failure of both engines, at least as now reported; to consider various options (on to Teterboro? back to LGA? what about the water?) while the plane is inevitably descending and each passing second narrows your choices; to decide on and commit to a course of action; and then to carry it out flawlessly .. all this deserves admiration, study, and thanks. So, yes, he’s a hero.
And by the way…
I was talkiing to a friend who’s a retired 747 pilot. He told me he’s never met anyone who’s made a successful emergency water landing of a commercial aircraft, anywhere.