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Sully Speaks In Newsweek!!

AA767AV8TOR

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All I can say is thank-you to Capt Sully and FO Skiles. You guys are giving us a much needed shot in the arm. True professionals. In a lot of ways, what you guys are doing after the accident is even more awe-inspiring than landing in the Hudson!

AA767AV8TOR


The following article written by Captain Sullenberger will appear in next week's issue of Newsweek.

All I Wanted Was to Talk to My Family, and Get Some Dry Socks

One month ago, I landed Flight 1549 safely in the Hudson River. In some ways, that was the easy part.

Capt. Chesley B. Sullenberger III
NEWSWEEK

From the magazine issue dated Feb 23, 2009
The night of the accident, after we'd safely accounted for all 155 people on the airplane, left the hospital, finally reached the hotel—the pilots' union and the NYPD whisking us away—I remember thinking that my needs were very simple. I'd lost all my belongings; I'd had the most harrowing three minutes of my life. All I really wanted was to talk to my family, and get some dry socks.

It's been a month since the airplane I piloted, US Airways Flight 1549, made an emergency landing in the Hudson River.

Since then, the attention given to me and my crew—I'm trying to resist, somewhat unsuccessfully, everyone's attempt to make this about fewer than five people—has obviously been immense. But I still don't think of myself as a celebrity. It's been a difficult adjustment, initially because of the "hero" mantle that was pushed in my direction. I felt for a long time that that wasn't an appropriate word. As my wife, Lorrie, pointed out on "60 Minutes," a hero is someone who decides to run into a burning building. This was different—this was a situation that was thrust upon us. I didn't choose to do what I did. That was why initially I decided that if someone offered me the gift of their thankfulness, I should accept it gratefully—but then not take it on as my own.

As time went by, though, I was better able to put everything in perspective and realize how this event had touched people's lives, how ready they were for good news, how much they wanted to feel hopeful again. Partly it's because this occurred as the U.S. presidency was changing hands. We've had a worldwide economic downturn, and people were confused, fearful and just so ready for good news. They wanted to feel reassured, I think, that all the things we value, all our ideals, still exist—that they're still there, even if they're not always evident.

When I was very young, my father impressed upon me that a commander is responsible for the welfare of everyone in his care. Any commander who got someone hurt because of lack of foresight or poor judgment had committed an unforgivable sin. My father was a dentist in the Navy, serving in Hawaii and San Diego from 1941 to 1945. He never saw combat, but he knew many who did. In the military, you get drilled into you the idea that you are responsible for every aspect of everyone's welfare.

During every minute of the flight, I was confident I could solve the next problem. My first officer, Jeff Skiles, and I did what airline pilots do: we followed our training, and our philosophy of life. We valued every life on that airplane and knew it was our responsibility to try to save each one, in spite of the sudden and complete failure of our aircraft. We never gave up. Having a plan enabled us to keep our hope alive. Perhaps in a similar fashion, people who are in their own personal crises—a pink slip, a foreclosure—can be reminded that no matter how dire the circumstance, or how little time you have to deal with it, further action is always possible. There's always a way out of even the tightest spot. You can survive.

Even though we had a successful outcome, it's human nature to wonder about the what-ifs. The second-guessing was much more frequent, and intense, in the first few days at night, when I couldn't sleep. It was hard to shut my brain off and get back to sleep. Sometimes I didn't, I couldn't. It was part of the posttraumatic stress that we have all felt, that each of the crew members has reported to each other.

It's funny—for the first two weeks after the accident, Jeff kept telling me, "I just want my old life back." But the other day he finally said for the first time, "You know, this is OK. I'm learning to like this. This is good." I think he's coming to terms with what's happened. He realizes that he's entitled to the attention. That he can still be true to himself. That accepting it isn't selling out.

Besides the outpouring of support from the passengers, the most touching sentiments I have received have been from other pilots. They tell me that because of the years of economic difficulties faced by the airline industry and its employees and the decreased respect for the profession, they have not felt proud to go to work—some of them for decades. Now, they tell me, they do. And they thank me for that. They thank us, the crew, because we've reminded people what all of us do every day, what's really at stake. They feel like they've regained some of the respect they'd lost.

What's next? I will return to flying for my airline—when I'm ready. I'm not sure when that will be. Probably a few months. I still haven't had many nights at home. My family and I are trying hard to remain true to ourselves and not let this change us, but there's a steep learning curve. The trajectory of our lives has changed forever. And we're determined to make good come out of this in every way that we can.

Capt. Sullenberger and his crew saved all 155 lives aboard US Airways Flight 1549.
 

Paul R. Smith

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What an inspiration he is for all of us.
 

Kugelblitz

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I grow weary of the inspiration. We have been over-Sullied. It is time to move on now. In fact, it has been for awhile. He will probably appear on another tearful Larry King another 20 times or so.......
 

Whine Lover

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Not to worry Kugel...The American public's collective memory is very short.

We are on about minute 13, of 15, with Sully and Crew.

If Christ showed up tomorrow he'd be seen on every news show and media outlet for about the next 6 weeks...and then we'd be on to the next story.

Unfortunately.


YKMKR
 

Whataburger

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Gotta Newsweek.
Obama, obama, a little bit of obama, a hint of obama, sully, hillery, clinton, pelosi, and a bit of kissing obama's ass to finish it off.
 

Kugelblitz

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Not to worry Kugel...The American public's collective memory is very short.

We are on about minute 13, of 15, with Sully and Crew.

If Christ showed up tomorrow he'd be seen on every news show and media outlet for about the next 6 weeks...and then we'd be on to the next story.

Unfortunately.


YKMKR


Don't you know? It is time to 'fall in love again' with the new season of American Idol!
 

Bluejob

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I'm not yet over-Sully'ed. I enjoy people in the community having respect for the profession again. I envision USAirway's management wincing every time he brings up the fact that they can't run an airline.

On the other hand, if he weren't saying anything about the "profession" as he sees it, I'd tend to agree with enough is enough. I don't feel we're there yet. Keep talking Sully.
 

B52GUNNER

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He will never get back to just flying. He will not be able to walk through the terminal without people hounding him.
 

Diesel-9

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On the news this a.m. a bunch of passengers have contacted lawyers about taking action against Sully. Anybody read an article on this? Unbelievable!!!!!
 

CaptSeth

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I've been around this business for a while, and this Sully guy has helped our collective image immensely. I personally feel as though I owe home a debt of gratitude.

He's eloquent and intelligent, and we'd all be better off if he can stay in the spotlight longer.
 

ACL65PILOT

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Quite true. People need to realize the cuts we have taken and what this profession truly entails.
He is the best vehicle to get that out there. It would take years and millions of dollars to do it some other way. People respect him and immediately put validity in what he says.
We need people like him to tell the world the way it is.
 

DiverDriver

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I hope I get to shake his hand one day.
 

The Prussian

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Quite true. People need to realize the cuts we have taken and what this profession truly entails.
He is the best vehicle to get that out there. It would take years and millions of dollars to do it some other way. People respect him and immediately put validity in what he says.
We need people like him to tell the world the way it is.

Hum....a rare view of clarity from you...
 

BEECH-SLAPPED

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On the news this a.m. a bunch of passengers have contacted lawyers about taking action against Sully. Anybody read an article on this? Unbelievable!!!!!

I'm sure U.S Airways has a "hold-harmless" policy or something similar which will indemnify him of all judgments against him. That's assuming that some congealed scum from Hell (aka LAWYER) thinks they even have a case.
 
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