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Danville pilot hailed as hero after landing US Airways jet in the Hudson

Original post made on Jan 15, 2009

Quick thinking by Danville resident pilot Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger was credited with saving the lives of the passengers of US Airways Flight 1549 today after the plane struck a flock of birds shortly after takeoff causing both engines to malfunction and the plane to dive into the Hudson River.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Thursday, January 15, 2009, 5:15 PM

Comments (15)

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Posted by Natalie
a resident of San Ramon
on Jan 15, 2009 at 6:12 pm

Way to go! This guy deserves a key to the city or something! What a heroic
Quick thinking guy!

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Posted by Amazed
a resident of another community
on Jan 15, 2009 at 7:41 pm

This is incredible! I have watched the news footage online and heard the reports of the passengers, eyewitnesses and officials. Had a less-skilled, less-calm pilot been at the helm, the incident could have been a horrific disaster.

Danville should be proud of its hometown hero.

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Posted by Danville Counseling
a resident of Danville
on Jan 16, 2009 at 7:46 am

Talk about keeping your wit's about you. I would love to hear more about how he handled himself emotionally during this dire situation. He is a teacher to us all.

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Posted by Donna Wagner
a resident of Danville
on Jan 16, 2009 at 9:07 am

Thank you for your heroism, strength. We have all benefitted from your example. May God continue to bless you, your family, and all those who were with you yesterday.

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Posted by Lee & Linda
a resident of another community
on Jan 16, 2009 at 9:47 am

"Sully" - After watching and reading the reports, I am convinced that your performance in the face of such panic and fear was truly amazing. When you were able to overcome your own terror, and land that plane, it gave hope and reassurance to the crew and passengers that they would survive. They were able to do their jobs because you did such a remarkable job of landing them safely in the water. Thank God for you, Capt Sullenberger!

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Posted by Ramon Perez Sr.
a resident of Danville
on Jan 16, 2009 at 1:28 pm

Mr. Sullenberger, I sallute you for your humble yet heroic actions you demonstrated yesterday on the Hudson River. Hope your our pilot when we fly the skies. God Bless you always.

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Posted by Paul R
a resident of another community
on Jan 16, 2009 at 1:33 pm

Thanks Sully for saving al the lives. God Bless You and your family!

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Posted by Mike Conklin
a resident of San Ramon
on Jan 16, 2009 at 3:30 pm

We're all very proud of you. You are a credit to your profession

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Posted by Barry
a resident of Danville
on Jan 16, 2009 at 4:18 pm

Im an FAA Air Traffic Controller who grew up in Danville, attended John Baldwin, Charlotte Wood, San Ramon High....aswell as being from the same hometown as "Sully" I also share the bond with him as a United States Air Force Veteran. I am so very proud of him and his amazing perseverance in the face of danger. Good for you mate!!!!

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Posted by Marv Jasper
a resident of Danville
on Jan 16, 2009 at 7:18 pm

In a time of great financial pain, dislocation in international experience, care for our fellow citizens, and general despair, "Sully" Sullenberger has shown us that hope is a reality, heroism is not a fiction, and that our American spirit endures.

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Posted by Dr. S. S.Bhattacharzi
a resident of another community
on Jan 17, 2009 at 2:41 am

An Amazing Act. Unbelieable performance of a veteran.
A hardson of mother earth has landed on hudson stage safely with shouldering unparellel responsibility.
An ultimate count of experience.
I salute you MR. Sullenberger III

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Posted by Dave Burkhardt
a resident of another community
on Jan 19, 2009 at 11:39 am

Please allow me to utilized your fine website and ask you to pass along my personal congratulations to Captain Sullenberger and his entire crew for the superb airmanship exhibited during their recent in-flight emergency and subsequent "off field" landing in New York City. They knew what they had to do, they knew how to do it, and they did it. Outstanding!

Dave Burkhardt
Sister Bay, WI
CFII - Retired
Airplanes, Instruments & Gliders

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Posted by Leonard
a resident of Alamo
on Jan 21, 2009 at 4:14 pm

Before you roll out the red carpet, you better get all the fact from the NTSB.

There are a few questions that need to be answered before Danville has a parade.

Ditching the aircraft in the water may not have been needed if captain Sullenberger was at the controls instead of the co-pilot.

There are a few other issues that need answering. The flock of birds must have been very large to cover the span of both engines.

There is also the issue of the co-pilot simply making a note of the birds dead ahead and not or not knowing how to take evasive action and again why wasn't the captain flying the aircraft. I understand the captain's main duties is to take-off and land the aircraft. If a Captain is teaching a co-pilot to take-off, he/she should have been more focused on the situation.

I agree Captain Sully did a great job in ditching his multi-million dollar aircraft and saving all those lives, but I'm also saying, ditching the aircraft may not have been necessary if Captain Sully was doing the flying.

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Posted by John Baldwin
a resident of Danville
on Mar 9, 2009 at 8:42 pm

Dear Leonard of Alamo,

Sir, by your own words, I can see that you--just like most major newspapers-- have a pathetically naive understanding of things aerodynamic. Since your remarks clearly indicate that you have never once looked at the code of Federal regs governing aviation, let alone very closely at flocks of birds nor the distance between a small Airbus' engines (all of 50 feet) allow me to enlighten you, however briefly:

Captain Sullenberger's co-pilot--what is called a first officer by the FAA, akin to a first mate on a ship--is just as qualified to take-off, land, or ditch as he is. The difference is WHO makes the decison to do so. To imply that the first officer in this case was not the least bit qualified to execute the ditching procedure--let alone somehow less capable--is to demonstrate a level of ignorance one usually associates with those who happen to have significntly more money than intelligence, to say nothing of knocking a pilot you have never met.

Kindly do those of us who happen to be career professionals in aviation an enormous favor: go down to Livermore or up to Concord and spend some of your Alamo money on a flying lesson. During the lesson, demonstrate to your instructor just how Sully or EVEN his first officer should have manuevered to avoid the geese. You might be surprised to lean that even your "lowly" instructor would be insulted by your hallucination on bird avoidance.

Oh, and don't worry about having to squint to see the birds. By the time you notice them,
you'll only be about two seconds from impact.

Your Pal,

John Baldwin,
San Ramon High School grad 1980
First officer Boeing 757 and 767/International flight ops

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Posted by Suzie Forsyth
a resident of another community
on Jul 13, 2009 at 4:09 pm

Glad to see that you are still flying.

San Ramon High School Grad 1983

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