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Meet the Pilot Who Saved 150 People Today

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The heroic pilot of US Airways Flight 1549 credited with today's expert Hudson River landing walked the entire aircraft aisle twice checking for passengers before exiting himself.


ABC News has identified the pilot as Chesley B. Sullenberger III. The 57-year-old has over 40 years of flying experience and served as an air force fighter pilot and instructor. Sullenberger's wife confirmed his identity from their California home to ABC while she waited for word he was safe. Sullenberger is a father of two.

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg praises Sullenberger, saying, "It would appear that the pilot did a masterful job of landing the plane in the river and then making sure everybody got out." The pilot's efforts helped save over 150 passengers and crew members.

Sullenberger graduated from the U.S. Air Force Academy and earned masters degrees from Purdue University and the University of Northern Colorado.

Authorities believe all the passengers, including one infant, were safely rescued.

5 comments so far | Post a comment now
Yvette January 15, 2009, 9:50 PM

Chesley Sullenberger had Air Force training.

Jess January 15, 2009, 10:39 PM

It is rare that things like this do not end in tragedy and amazing that a plane could be landed in the water without breaking apart. Great job and thank God for Cpt. Sullenberger.

Tall_Geek January 15, 2009, 10:41 PM

It’s so fitting the hero of the hudson is named nicknamed sully.

あゆみ January 15, 2009, 11:27 PM


Qchanmds June 24, 2009, 8:41 AM

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