Contra Costa Pilot Chesley Sullenberger is Hero Pilot of Flight 1549

Airline pilot and local Contra Costa County webmaster (www.safetyreliability.com!, that’s his URL, srsly) really pulled the fat out of the fire today by properly ditching his crippled Airbus 320 into the Hudson River. Will he make an appearance at the upcoming Obama Presidential Inaugural Celebration or State of the Union address? (Signs point to YES.)

This former USAF fighter pilot will be soon be the talk of his small East Bay hometown: Danville, CA . [Update: It's happened already - the MSM has staked out his family's "spacious house" and talked to the neighbors, so the fam is hiding out in the dark, sustaining themselves on take-out fast food delivered by friends. Well, here he is, the man with "twinkly, fatherly eyes"]

www.safetyreliability.com The eye twinkling here is assisted by on-camera flash catchlights and Photoshop’s unsharp mask (USM) function, set at 20, 60, 0. Click to expand

Did he or co-pilot Jeff Skiles of Oregon, Wisconsin press the Airbus 320 “ditch button?” Maybe. That jet certainly floated like a cork for a while. Apparently, “pressing the guarded “DITCHING” button causes the pressurization system to send a “CLOSE” command to:

  • the outflow valve,
  • the emergency ram air inlet,
  • the avionics ventilation inlet and extract valves,
  • the pack flow control valves

thereby making the aircraft fuselage as watertight as possible and hopefully enabling it to stay afloat long enough for everyone to get out before it sinks.” The More You Know… Hey Boeing, do you have something simple like this?

It appears ”Sully” did a masterful job all around, especially when you consider the fact that the temperature of the water was likely much colder” than 20 degrees(!), per WCBS. (You know, some captains don’t always go the extra mile for passengers when the ship is going down.) 

N106US from less eventful times, in its old livery. Via Drewski2112 Click to enlarge.

And speaking of safety, has any large (100 passengers or so and up) commercial jet airplane gotten in a crash that killed a paying passenger in America since the end of 2001? I can’t think of any flights where that’s happened. Good for us. The trend is our our friend, isn’t it? Of course, the fashion these days is having large jets with just two engines (instead of three or four). When you’re heading into a flock of birds, it would probably be nicer to have more engines than less, but this kind of thing is a fairly rare occurance.

Now, San Francisco’s SFO has had its fair share of birdstrike victims, including Virgin America Flight 837 (yes Air Colbert, named after Stephen Colbert) and, speaking of Virgin Airlines, a Virgin Boeing 747 back in 1995. Let’s hope the growing geese population of the Bay Area doesn’t start hanging out at airports. But let’s leave that issue for another day. 

Today, it’s three cheers for old-school, safe, reliable, Facebook.com cover-boy, possible nominee for U.S. Senate representing New York Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger III!

[Update: For some odd reason, a colossal number of people are searching Google right now using the terms "sullenberger jewish?" and "wesley sullenburger jew." I don't know the answer, but the question itself must be, in the words of famous local playwright Josh Kornbluth, "Good for the Jews".]

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20 Responses to “Contra Costa Pilot Chesley Sullenberger is Hero Pilot of Flight 1549”

  1. Bob Bruman says:

    At a time when the nation needs hope and heroes, you have stepped up wonderfully…thank you sir…thank you for being you and making us safe and hopeful and proud!

  2. Liz Mescall says:

    Wow! New York Loves YOU!
    A natural born aviator and a HERO :)
    God bless your soul
    Thank YOU from NY
    liz

  3. Mark says:

    This guy is a hero.

    He should become President on Jan. 20th instead of Obama.

  4. Jack Johnson says:

    “For some odd reason…”

    That’s because Insty is using him as a posterboy, as a victim of anti-Jewish oppression.

  5. Donna says:

    Great job. Experience does go a long way. God bless you, you are indeed a hero.

  6. Edward says:

    Fresh (unsalted) water freezes at about 32F. The Hudson River water temperature was 36F when the plane crashed. (Not “‘likely much colder’ than 20 degrees(!)” even if WCBS said it.)

  7. Es says:

    What a great, great story. What a HERO!!! What a consumate pro! Congratulations to this man and his family. every person on that jet owes you their lives.

    So incredible!!

  8. Bill says:

    You guys do know there are TWO pilots at the controls not just one? How about a little credit for the guy sitting next to him?

  9. Becky Roper Motley says:

    So proud of my childhood friend from Denison! Kudos to you, sir!

    Your parents would be so proud!

  10. Joanna Fox says:

    You have made this a happy day in American history! For days such as these that give us hope and pride, we rejoice! Thank you! Now if only all would give credit to whom credit is truly due … to our sovereign God, who by sending His Son to pay the price for our rebellion, is the Hero of all times…then the story would truly have an eternally happy ending!

  11. Majid says:

    Wow, What I can say! You are a real hero in every sense of the word. I love planes and anything to do with aviation. People like you inspire me and I am so proud of you. I wish you were closer to me here in London to give you a kiss and a hug!

    Most of friends here in London & Casablanca my hometwon are also proud of you! God bless my brave Sully!

    Warm Regards
    Majid

  12. osc says:

    Great job Sully & crew. Not surprising since Sully was ex-airforce. Those guys can fly commercial jets upside down & backwards. Well, maybe just upside down. Seriously. ; ))

  13. Steve Bakalos says:

    Wow ! Quick thinking and skillful action without hesitation …… That is pure fighter pilot instinct …… A true TOP GUN !
    Congratulations !
    Steve

  14. Daniel says:

    Is or is not Jew, it is important to know.

  15. momo says:

    just another jew

  16. Peter Jacobson says:

    Nice field selection, Sully.

    Too few people can have any idea how important to your performance is your experience as a sailplane (glider) pilot — and the number of times I imagine you’ve flown that landing in your head over your flying career.

    Great job.
    Papa Juliet

  17. goldenchild says:

    Doesn’t surprise me a bit that he handled it like a champ.
    He is from Nor. Cal.

  18. Sherry says:

    You people who are thanking god for the “miracle” that no one was killed are nuts! “God” is the guy who put those geese in front of the aircraft!

  19. Daniel says:

    He could do it because he is a Jew, an everybody know Jews are better in everthing.