Aviation News

January 15, 2014

Five Years Later, Still a Miracle

It’s hard to believe that today marks the five-year anniversary of the “Miracle on the Hudson” flight. It was on this day that Captain Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger and his First Officer, Jeffrey Skiles operating flight 1549, an A320 (registration N106US) from New York’s LaGuardia bound for Seattle via Charlotte struck a flock of birds approximately 100 seconds after lifting off from runway 4. This rare occurrence of disabling not one, but both of the aircraft’s engines, left the flight crew with a few options. They could turn back to LaGuardia, having their pick of any of the 4 runways. They could continue on to Teterboro Airport in New Jersey, a bit further away but in more of a straight line from where they were at that moment. Or they could land on New York’s largest runway, the Hudson River. All of the options were risky, considering at this point, Sully was essentially operating a high tech glider with 150 passengers and five crew on board. Sully knew that out of his three options, the wide stretch of unusually calm, frigid Hudson River was their best option to come out of this alive.

The fateful pictures quickly emerged of something many of us never even conceived could happen; an entire aircraft of passengers embarking onto the planes wings waiting to be saved, surrounded by water in the middle of January. We saw the many ferries and boats passing between New York and New Jersey swiftly headed towards flight 1549 to do what they could to help get the 155 passengers and crew off of the wings and out of the bitterly cold Hudson River.

While we reflect back onto what happened five years ago, I wanted to spotlight the good that has come from it. Captain Sully became an overnight international hero and sensation. The reserved, modest pilot that very directly and calmly told Air Traffic Control “We’re going to be in the Hudson” has gone on to use his power for good. Sullenberger has since retired from US Airways and has now become a full-time advocate for aviation safety, the aviation profession, and even patient safety. According to Sully, these have always been topics that he was passionate about. However, he now has the unique opportunity to use his spotlight to shed light on them and create some real change–and he is.

I was fortunate enough to hear Captain Sully briefly speak last night at an event hosted by JEANRICHARD at Torneau during the unveiling of their new special edition “208 Seconds” Aeroscope watch. 208 seconds being symbolic of short amount of time it took for a life changing event to happen to 155 people on board a plane. Through this partnership between JEANRICHARD and Sully, their brand ambassador, part of the proceeds from the watch sales will go towards Sullenberger’s philanthropic endeavors, the American Red Cross, and the Rory Staunton Foundation. It’s also just a really cool watch.

So today, I thank you again Captain Sullenberger and the entire crew on board flight 1549 for continuing to stand up for what you think is right, inspiring the best in each of us, and being a role model for the next generation of the aviation community looking to take to the skies.


Why I Celebrate Sully by David J. Williams

The Heroics of Captain Sully and the “Miracle on the Hudson” by Patrick Smith

Sully’s Final Departure: Miracle on the Hudson Hero Flies Into Retirement (w/ Photos) by Mark Lawrence

About the Author

Stephen Weisbrot



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  • i like this pic, this was history, i was there when this happen, i can use this pic for my site http://www.fondoshd.mx/ or not?

  • Madhava Verma Dantuluri

    Good looking at the memory lanes and great man.