Sullenberger Retires To Advocate For Safety

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In a surprise move last week, Capt. Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger announced his retirement from U.S. Airways and flew his final flight. Sullenberger, 59, has been the most famous pilot in the U.S. since he safely landed an A320 dead-stick on the Hudson River just over a year ago. In a statement, Sullenberger said though he is retiring after 30 years on the flight line, he plans to continue to advocate for aviation safety and for the profession of airline pilots. "I will work to remind the entire industry -- and those who manage and regulate it -- that we have a sacred duty to our passengers to do the very best that we know how to do," he said. Retirement is sure to keep him busy -- on Sunday, Sullenberger was photographed at a Vanity Fair Oscar party in Hollywood alongside Tom Hanks, who looks like he could easily step into Sully's shoes to play him in a movie.

Sullenberger said in his statement that the profession of flying is not what it used to be. "Each generation of pilots hopes that they will leave their profession better off than they found it," he said. "In spite of the best efforts of thousands of my colleagues, that is not the case today." Sullenberger has also agreed to work with EAA to help promote Young Eagles, along with Jeff Skiles, who was first officer on that flight in January 2009. Skiles also flew alongside Sullenberger on his final flight. Click here for EAA's MP3 compilation of audio from the flight, during which controllers all along the route said their good-byes to the captain.