Sully in Seattle

Yesterday’s announcement by the NTSB of 33 safety recommendations following an investigation into U.S. Airways flight 1549 called to mind the recent visit here by the captain of that miracle landing.

The visit to Boeing was several weeks back, but I thought it might be worthwhile to share a bit of it with you.

Capt. Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger, who successfully ditched an A320 into the Hudson River, visited with about 300 Commercial Airplanes employees at Boeing Training & Flight Services in Renton - with another 1,000 or so employees taking part virtually via the Web.


“Sully” addresses employees at Boeing Training & Flight Services in Renton.

He told a riveting story about the last 208 seconds of Flight 1549, after a bird strike disabled both engines. But he also shared how his life’s journey had prepared him for that fateful day in January 2009.

Capt. Sullenberger told the Boeing audience that his years of training, integrity, leadership and high professional standards helped him and First Officer Jeffrey Skiles make the right decisions that ended up saving the lives of all 155 passengers and crew.

Here’s some of what he said:

“What makes aviation so safe is that everyone involved has a shared sense of responsibility for safety and a shared view to make that a reality every day. And there are hundreds of thousands of airline and aviation workers throughout the country who share that responsibility to serve a cause greater than themselves.

“We must lead our lives in an exemplary fashion, offering ourselves a constant, persistent challenge to excel. None of us knows what tomorrow may bring. Each of us has the responsibility to prepare ourselves well.”


Captain Sullenberger greets Boeing flight line employees in Seattle.

During his 2-day Seattle visit, Sullenberger also attended a book signing event and spoke at the Museum of Flight.

He also toured our Everett facility, met with Boeing Test & Evaluation flight crew members and as you see above, visited employees working on the flight line at Boeing Field.

A great thrill all around.

Comments (1)

Norman (Long Beach, California, United States):

In the world of celebrities, tween teen and early-twenty-something idols, rehab stars and sports athletes, Capt. Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger is a person truly worthy of his recognition and celebrity. Capt. Sullenberger is a profile in courage and my candidate for a true American Idol.

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