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Virtus Hero - February of 2009


Captain Chelsey Sullenberger


Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger III successfully carried out the emergency water landing of US Airways Flight 1549 on the Hudson River right across from New York City on January 15, 2009.  His courageous actions and quick thinking saved the lives of 155 people on the plane.  Shortly after taking off, Sullenberger reported to air traffic control that the plane had hit a large flock of birds, disabling both engines.  Several passengers saw the left engine on fire.  Sullenberger discussed with Air Traffic Control the possibilities of either returning to LaGuardia or attempting to land at Teterboro Airport in New Jersey.  However, he quickly decided neither was feasible, and determined to ditch in the Hudson.  Sullenberger told the passengers to "brace for impact", then piloted the plane to a smooth ditching in the river.  All passengers and crew members survived.  Sullenberger checked the passenger cabin twice to make sure everyone had evacuated, before retrieving the plane's maintenance logbook and being the last to evacuate the aircraft.


Captain Sullenberger is a graduate of the United States Air Force Academy and served his country as a fighter pilot from 1975 - 1980.

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