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Hudson miracle recounted by Capt. Sully
WASHINGTON (3/1/11)--Airline Capt. Chesley B. “Sully” Sullenberger III mesmerized the Monday session of the Credit Union National Association Governmental Affairs Conference with his vivid description of the crash landing in the Hudson River Jan. 15, 2009, that made him a national hero. He attributed the positive outcome and rescue to the training of his
Click to view larger image Capt. "Sully" Sullenberger (left) is greeted by CUNA President/CEO Bill Cheney just before the captain recounts the ordeal that made him a national hero. (CUNA Photo)
crew, and the cooperation of the passengers. Sullenberger, who opened his presentation by describing himself as a “30-year proud member of a credit union,” described the crash and rescue in an approximate 45-minute speech. Standing in the middle of the stage, and speaking without notes, Sullenberger made these points:
* Because the plane went down in 43 seconds, there was virtually no time for himself or his co-pilot to communicate. “Everything we did, we did intuitively,” he said. “Before the landing, there was no sound in the plane. You could hear a pin drop.” * “The forced calm that is part of our profession was the result of a lifetime of training. It resulted in imposing order where there could have been chaos.”
Sullenberger said despite the tension, there were lighter moments during the ordeal. When the plane landed in the water, he dialed his airline office on his mobile phone, and told the person who answered that the plane was down, he said. He said the staffer was in obvious high state of agitation, and could only blurt into the phone, “I can’t talk to you now. We have a plane down in the Hudson River.” The GAC will continue until Wednesday.


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