Captain Sullenberger RetiresThe hero pilot, Captain Sullenberger, who landed his Airbus 320 safely on the Hudson River, in New York, on Jan 15 2009 has retired after 30 years. Captain Sullenberger, 59, officially retired at a private ceremony in Charlotte after flying his last commercial gig, Flight 1167 from Fort Lauderdale, Florida – landing 17 minutes ahead of schedule. Captain Sullenberger also flew with the same co-pilot as during the Hudson landing of US Airways Flight 1549, First Officer Jeff Skiles. Also on board were some of the same passengers that were on Flight 1549 to celebrate his final flight. If you don’t know the history of Flight 1549 and the amazing landing on the Hudson, check out the video below.
About US Airways Flight 1549
US Airways Flight 1549 was a scheduled flight from New York City to Charlotte, North Carolina on January 15, 2009. Having struck a flock of geese minutes after takeoff the captain took control and successfully ditched the Airbus 320 in the Hudson River. The words “We’ll be in the Hudson” were communicated to Air Traffic Control and then the flight disappeared from radar screens. The crew knew that they could not make it and referencing the QRH took some much time, that they literally ran out of time to make it to nearby airports. The full series of events is documented in many Air Crash Investigations and also in the film Sully. All 155 passengers survived this event which is amazing as a feat of aviation. Normally when you land in water, the engines that are housed under the wings act as large buckets and can tear off or flip the aircraft, such as the Air Ethiopia flight which highjacked and landed off a beach years previous (also caught on film). Anyway, well done to Sully for this wonderful flying.
The crew of US Airways Flight 1549 was awarded the Master’s Medal of the Guild of Air Pilots and Air Navigators. It has been described as “the most successful ditching in aviation history.”. As Captain Sullenberger Retires, we salute this amazing achievement.