Chesley Sullenberger Bio
Chesley Sullenberger III is an American retired airline captain who, on January 15, 2009, landed US Airways Flight 1549 in the Hudson River off Manhattan after both engines were disabled by a bird strike; all 155 people aboard survived.
Chelsey Sullenberger is a speaker on airline safety and has helped develop new protocols for airline safety. Chesley Sullenberger served as the co-chairman, along with First officer Jeffrey Skiles, of the EAA’s Young Eagles youth introduction-to-aviation program from 2009 to 2013.
Sullenberger retired from US Airways after 30 years as a commercial pilot on March 3, 2010. In May of the following year, Sullenberger was hired by CBS News as an Aviation and Safety Expert.
Chesley is the co-author, with Jeffrey Zaslow, of the New York Times bestseller Highest Duty: My Search for What Really Matters, a memoir of his life and of the events surrounding Flight 1549, published in 2009 by HarperCollins.
His second book, Making a Difference: Stories of Vision and Courage from America’s Leaders, was published in May 2012. He was ranked second in Time’s “Top 100 Most Influential Heroes and Icons of 2009”, after Michelle Obama.
10 Quick Facts About Chesley Sullenberger
- Name: Chesley Sullenberger
- Age: 71 years as of 2022
- Birthday: January 23
- Zodiac Sign: Aquarius
- Height: Average
- Nationality: American
- Occupation: Retired Airline Captain
- Marital Status: Married
- Salary: Under Review
- Net worth: Under Review
Chesley Sullenberger Age
Chesley Sullenberger was born on January 23, 1951, in Denison, Texas, USA as Chesley Burnett Sullenberger III. He is now 71 years old as 2022. Sullenberger’s height is 1.83m as per today.
Chesley Sullenberger Family and Life
Chesley Sullenberger was born in Denison, Texas. Chesley’s father was a descendant of Swiss-German immigrants named Sollenberger. He has one sister, Mary. The street on which he grew up in Denison was named after his mother’s family.
According to his sister, Sullenberger built model planes and aircraft carriers during his childhood and says he became interested in flying after seeing military jets from an Air Force base near his house.
He went to school in Denison and was consistently on the 99th percentile in every academic category.
At the age of 12, his IQ was deemed high enough to join Mensa International. In high school, he was the president of the Latin club, a first-chair flutist, and an honor student. He was an active member of the Waples Memorial United Methodist Church in Denison, and graduated from Denison High School in 1969, near the top of his class of about 350.
At 16, Sullenberger learned to fly in an Aeronca 7DC from a private airstrip near his home. He said the training he received from a local flight instructor influenced his aviation career for the rest of his life
On December 7, 1995, Sullenberger’s father committed suicide by gunshot shortly after being released from the hospital following major surgery. He had been suffering from depression in the face of a long and difficult convalescence ahead of him. He left no note. As a result of this, Sullenberger became a suicide prevention activist, having promoted National Suicide Prevention Week and National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.
Chesley Sullenberger Wife
Sullenberger is married to fitness instructor Lorraine “Lorrie” Sullenberger, with whom he adopted two daughters, Kate and Kelly. He has been married to Lorrie Sullenberger since June 17, 1989.
Chesley Sullenberger Daughters
Sullenberger has two adopted daughters namely; Kate Sullenberger and Kelly Sullenberger.
Chesley Sullenberger Military Service
Sullenberger was appointed to the United States Air Force Academy, entering with the Class of 1973 in June 1969. He was selected along with around a dozen other freshmen for a cadet glider program, and by the end of that year, he was an instructor pilot. In the year of his graduation, 1973, he received the Outstanding Cadet in Airmanship award, as the class “top flyer”.
Following graduation with a Bachelor of Science and his commissioning as an officer, the Air Force immediately sent Sullenberger to Purdue University to pursue a master’s degree prior to entering Undergraduate Pilot Training (UPT).
Following the completion of his graduate degree at Purdue, he was assigned to UPT at Columbus AFB, Mississippi, flying the T-37 Tweet and T-38 Talon. After earning his wings in 1975 as a USAF Pilot, he completed replacement training in the F-4 Phantom II at Luke AFB, Arizona.
This was followed by his assignment to the 493d Tactical Fighter Squadron of 48th Tactical Fighter Wing at RAF Lakenheath, United Kingdom, where he flew as a United States Air Force fighter pilot in the F-4D Phantom II.
Following his assignment at RAF Lakenheath, he was reassigned to the 428th Tactical Fighter Squadron of the 474th Tactical Fighter Wing at Nellis AFB, Nevada, again flying the F-4D.
He advanced to become a flight leader and a training officer, and attained the rank of captain, with experience in Europe, the Pacific, and at Nellis Air Force Base, as well as operating as Blue Force Mission Commander in Red Flag Exercises. While in the Air Force, he was a member of an aircraft accident investigation board.
Chesley Sullenberger Civil Aviation Career
Sullenberger was employed by US Airways and its predecessor airlines from 1980 until 2010. (Pacific Southwest Airlines was acquired by US Air, later US Airways, in 1988.)
He holds an Airline Transport Pilot Certificate for single and multi-engine airplanes, and a Commercial Pilot Certificate rating in gliders, as well as a flight instructor certificate for airplanes (single, multi-engine, and instrument), and gliders.
In total, he has more than 40 years and 20,000 hours of flying experience. In 2007, he became the founder and CEO of Safety Reliability Methods, Inc. (SRM), a firm providing strategic and tactical guidance to enhance organizational safety, performance, and reliability.
He has also been involved in a number of accident investigations conducted by the USAF and the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), such as Pacific Southwest Airlines Flight 1771 and USAir Flight 1493. He served as an instructor, Air Line Pilots Association Local Air Safety Chairman, accident investigator, and national technical committee member.
His safety work for ALPA led to the development of a Federal Aviation Administration Advisory Circular. He was instrumental in developing and implementing the Crew Resource Management course that is used by US Airways, and he has taught the course to hundreds of airline crew members.
Working with NASA scientists, he co-authored a paper on error-inducing contexts in aviation. He was an air accident investigator for an NTSB inquiry into a major accident at Los Angeles International Airport, which “led to improved airline procedures and training for emergency evacuations of aircraft”. Sullenberger has also been studying the psychology behind keeping an airline crew functioning during a crisis.
Sullenberger was active with his union, serving as chairman of a safety committee within the Air Line Pilots Association. He was a featured speaker for two panels: one on aviation and one on patient safety in medicine, at the High-Reliability Organizations (HRO) 2007 International Conference in Deauville, France, from May 29 to 31, 2007.
US Airways Flight 1549
US Airways Flight 1549 afloat in the Hudson River
On January 15, 2009, Sullenberger was the captain of US Airways Flight 1549, an Airbus A320 taking off from LaGuardia Airport in New York City. Shortly after takeoff, the plane struck a large flock of birds (Canada geese) and lost power in both engines.
Quickly determining he would be unable to reach either LaGuardia or Teterboro airport, Sullenberger piloted the plane to a water landing on the Hudson River. All 155 people on board survived and were rescued by nearby boats.
Sullenberger said later: “It was very quiet as we worked, my co-pilot Jeff Skiles and I. We were a team. But to have zero thrusts coming out of those engines was shocking—the silence.” Sullenberger was the last to leave the aircraft, after making sure all passengers and crew had evacuated.
Sullenberger, described by friends as “shy and reticent,” was noted for his poise and calm during the crisis; New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg dubbed him “Captain Cool”. Nonetheless, Sullenberger suffered symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder in subsequent weeks, including sleeplessness and flashbacks.
He said that the moments before the ditching were “the worst sickening, pit-of-your-stomach, falling-through-the-floor feeling” that he had ever experienced. He also said: “One way of looking at this might be that for 42 years, I’ve been making small, regular deposits in this bank of experience, education, and training. And on January 15, the balance was sufficient so that I could make a very large withdrawal.”
The National Transportation Safety Board ruled that Sullenberger made the correct decision in landing on the river instead of attempting a return to LaGuardia because the normal procedures for engine loss are designed for cruising altitudes, not immediately after takeoff.
Simulations performed at the Airbus Training Centre Europe in Toulouse showed that Flight 1549 could have made it back to LaGuardia had that maneuver begun immediately after the bird strike. However, such scenarios both neglected the time necessary for the pilots to understand and assess the situation, and risked the possibility of a crash within a densely populated area.
Post-flight accolades and publicity
Congressman Jerry McNerney presenting Sullenberger with a framed flag on January 24, 2009
U.S. President George W. Bush called Sullenberger to thank him for saving the lives of the passengers, as did President-elect Barack Obama, who also invited him and the crew to join the presidential inauguration ceremony.
On January 16, 2009, the United States Senate passed a resolution recognizing and honoring Sullenberger, Skiles, the cabin crew, the passengers, and the first responders involved in Flight 1549’s emergency landing. The United States House of Representatives passed a similar resolution on January 26, 2009.
Sullenberger attended the presidential inauguration on January 20, 2009, where he and his wife met President Obama. On January 22, 2009, he and the rest of the crew of Flight 1549 were awarded a Masters Medal by the Guild of Air Pilots and Air Navigators.
A ceremony for Sullenberger was held on January 24, 2009, in Sullenberger’s hometown of Danville, California, where he was presented with awards including Danville’s “Key to the Town”, and was named an honorary Danville police officer.
While in the Tri-Valley, Sullenberger decided to grant his first official interview to Jega Shanmugam of The Wildcat Tribune, the official student newspaper of Dougherty Valley High School, which his daughter attended at the time. In a special February 2009 edition, the Tribune published “Heroism & Humility on the Hudson,” covering Sullenberger and the Flight 1549 landing.
San Ramon Valley Fire Protection District Chief Richard Price presented Captain Sullenberger with his district’s highest award, the Medal of Valor, which has been given only a few times in the district’s history.
Sullenberger, Skiles, and Flight 1549’s cabin crew, Doreen Welsh, Sheila Dail, and Donna Dent, were honored with a standing ovation during the Super Bowl XLVIII pre-game ceremony on February 1, 2009. Sullenberger was awarded an honorary lifetime membership in the Seaplane Pilots Association.
In 2009, Sullenberger was awarded the Founders’ Medal by The Air League. Admirers of Sullenberger also started a Facebook fan site that, as of late February 2009, had half a million members.
A library book, Just Culture: Balancing Safety and Accountability were in Sullenberger’s luggage left behind in the cockpit. When Sullenberger notified the library that the water-damaged book had been recovered, it made a point of waiving any late fees. Bloomberg presented Sullenberger with a new copy along with the Key to the City of New York.
Sullenberger threw out the first pitch of the 2009 Major League Baseball season for the San Francisco Giants. His Giants’ jersey was inscribed with the name “Sully” and the number 155—a reference to the 155 people aboard the plane.
On June 6, 2009, Sullenberger returned to his childhood hometown of Denison, Texas, to participate in the town’s D-Day celebration, and to give the commencement address for his alma mater, Denison High School, marking the 40th anniversary of his own graduation from the school.
Sullenberger also made an appearance in St. Louis, Missouri, on July 14, 2009, to participate in the Red Carpet All-Star Parade before the 2009 Major League Baseball All-Star Game.
Chesley Sullenberger Quotes
He has quite a number of quotes some of which are;
“We all have heard about ordinary people who find themselves in extraordinary situations. They act courageously or responsibly, and their efforts are described as if they opted to act that way on the spur of the moment… I believe many people in those situations actually have made decisions years before.”
“Everyone’s reputation is made on a daily basis. There are little incremental things—worthwhile efforts, moments you were helpful to others—and after a lifetime, they can add up to something. You can feel as if you lived and it mattered.”
“He knew the best way to learn responsibility was to be given the opportunity to be responsible and at as young an age as possible.”
“We need to try to do the right thing every time, to perform at our best, because we never know which moment in our lives we’ll be judged on.”
“IT’S TRUE FOR all of us. Everyone we’ve ever known and loved, every experience we’ve had, every decision we’ve made, every regret we have had to deal with and accept—these are what make us who we are.”
“He knew the best way to learn responsibility was to be given the opportunity to be responsible and at as young an age as possible. In”
“The transcripts of our conversation also show how Patrick’s choice of phrasing was helpful to me. Rather than telling me what airport I had to aim for, he asked me what airport I wanted. His words let me know that he understood that these hard choices were mine to make, and it wasn’t going to help if he tried to dictate a plan to me.”
“Integrity means doing the right thing even when it’s not convenient.”
“In so many areas of life, you need to be a long-term optimist but a short-term realist.”
“Not every situation can be foreseen or anticipated. There isn’t a checklist for everything.”
“We leave a little bit of ourselves with everybody we come in contact with.” He”
“From everything I saw, knew, and felt, my decision had been made: LaGuardia was out. Wishing or hoping otherwise wasn’t going to help.”
“Unlike a lot of men of his generation, my dad thought of being with his family as his priority; work was secondary. I”
“We were each sent into the woods for four days without food and water. This was called SERE training, which stood for “survival, evasion, resistance, and escape.” It”
“All of us have to find the courage to leave the shore. That means leaving the crutch of our lifelong complaints and resentments, or our unhappiness over our upbringing or our bodies or whatever. It means no longer focusing negative energy on things beyond our control. It means looking beyond the safety of the familiar.”
“Before deregulation, flying was relatively more expensive, and for a lot of people, it felt like a special occasion when they went to the airport to fly somewhere. When”
“Mostly, we buy regular tickets for flights now, because the hassles and uncertainties of trying to use my employee travel benefits just aren’t worth it.”
“In so many areas of life, you need to be a long-term optimist”
“People had been losing their jobs in large numbers. Home foreclosures were up. Life savings had been decimated. A lot of people felt like they had been hit by a double bird strike in their own lives. But Flight 1549 had shown people that there are always further actions you can take. There are ways out of the tightest spots. We as individuals, and as a society, can find them.”
“In the cultures of some companies, management depends heavily on the innate goodness and professionalism of its employees to constantly compensate for systemic deficiencies, chronic understaffing, and substandard subcontractors.”
“It means no longer focusing negative energy on things beyond our control.”
“As we get deeper into our marriage, Lorrie and I have become big believers in the idea that we should focus on what we have rather than what we don’t have. We”
“My mom wore white gloves and a hat. I was in a sport coat and slacks. That’s how people traveled then. In their Sunday best.”
“Lorrie believes that to meet your goals in life, it’s important to write them down. But that’s not enough. You also need to take what she and others call “authentic action” every day to achieve them. That means you have to knock on a door, or make a phone call, or do something concrete to get you closer to your goal.”
Chesley Sullenberger Books
Chesley has written the following books;
1. Highest Duty: My Search for What Really Matters-2009
2. Making a Difference: Stories of Vision and Courage from America’s Leaders-2012
3. Sully – O Heroi Do Rio Hudson-2016
Chesley Sullenberger Net worth and Salary
Chesley Sullenberger Net Worth, Salary, Cars & Houses. Chesley Sullenberger is a notable Airline captain who has a net worth of $1.5 million dollars. His remarkable performance as a pilot in jet airways and the way he handled the incident of US Airways flight 1549 courageously made him a real-life hero.
Chesley Sullenberger Co-pilot
When people think of the emergency plane landing into the Hudson River known as the “Miracle on the Hudson”, people usually think of Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger — the pilot of US Airways Flight 1549. But Captain Sully didn’t land the plane on the Hudson River in New York City alone.
There was another man responsible for bringing the passengers of flight 1549 to safety: Sully’s co-pilot, Jeff Skiles.
Skiles is the son of two pilots and started flying at the age of 16. With more than 21,000 hours logged in the sky and 30 years experience as a U.S. Airways pilot, Skiles’ ability to bring the plane to safety wasn’t just in his training, it was in his blood.
Jeff Skiles’ Second Flight On The Airbus A320
This was Skiles’ second time flying an Airbus A320, which would be en route from LaGuardia Airport in New York City to Seattle. “I’d never flown with anybody [in Flight 1549’s crew] until I’d met them that Monday [three days before the accident],” Skiles reported.
So on Jan. 15, 2009, Sullenberger and Skiles took off from LaGuardia Airport in New York City, headed down to Charlotte, North Carolina for a stopover before continuing to Seattle which was the flight’s final destination.
The Engines Fail
Only a few minutes after takeoff, the plane struck a flock of geese at an altitude of 2,818 feet, causing both engines to fail. With both engines shut down, Captain Sullenberger ultimately decided to make an emergency landing on the Hudson River. While Captain Sully focused on this, Skiles took all the necessary measures in order to try to complete an engine restart.
For pilots, there is a myriad of procedures at their disposal in the event of an emergency. Skiles, therefore, consulted their QRH or Quick Reference Handbook that outlines procedures for restarting the engines in the event of a failure. Unfortunately, the procedure is meant to be done at a significantly higher altitude, like 20-30,000 feet, and so by the time Skiles would get through the first page of references, the plane would already be in the water.
Skiles would have to rely on his life experiences and intense training preparation to save the passengers of US Airways Flight 1549.
It was Skiles’ responsibility to warn the crew to brace for landing and to assist the passengers in evacuating the plane. He recalls that the passengers did not know how to brace for impact and following the impact, did not remember to take flotation devices with them. Skiles says that’s “because they didn’t read the [safety briefing] card, instead they were reading the paper.”
Skiles says a flight attendant reported to him after the accident that all of the passengers on her subsequent flights in the week after “had their cards out and were following along. She’d never seen that in thirty years of flying.”
US Airways Flight 1549 in the Hudson River. Rescue crews surround the US Airways plane where passengers can be seen being rescued.
Chesley Sullenberger Hudson river
n January 15, 2009, Captain Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger landed an Airbus A320-214 in New York’s freezing Hudson River following a bird strike-induced loss of both engines. All 155 passengers and crew onboard US Airways Flight 1549 survived. This was not a crash, more a safe landing
Chesley Sullenberger Now
Where Is The Real Sully Now? The Former Pilot Is Still Inspiring Many
Actor Tom Hanks and director Clint Eastwood have joined forces for the first time in the new film Sully, a powerful look at one of the more unbelievable true stories of the last decade: “The Miracle on the Hudson.” On January 15, 2009, Captain Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger was piloting US Airways Flight 1549 out of New York’s LaGuardia Airport when the plane ran into a flock of geese on its initial climb, causing both engines to fail.
With no other options, Sully led a guided landing in the Hudson River, resulting in no casualties. It’s been seven years since that fateful flight, so what’s the real Sully doing now?
For one thing, he’s not flying planes anymore. He retired as a pilot in March 2010 but has continued to be involved with aviation. Beginning in 2009 and lasting until 2013, he and his Flight 1549 co-pilot Jeffrey Skiles served as the chairmen of the EAA Young Eagles Program, which looks to inspire young people to take an interest in aviation. In 2011, he became a CBS News contributor as their Aviation and Safety Expert, a role which he still holds today.
And he’s also become a bestselling author, penning two books since he achieved fame: 2009’s Highest Duty: My Search for What Really Matters and 2012’s Making a Difference: Stories of Vision and Courage from America’s Leaders. But most of Sully’s time these days is spent as an inspirational speaker.
If you were to fly over to Sully’s website, you’d see a lot of business about hiring the former pilot to come to speak at your next function.
Sully is represented by the Harry Walker Agency, which bills itself as the world’s leading speakers bureau, and he’s managed to put together quite an impressive portfolio of speeches. He’s delivered over 200 keynote addresses to date, and often speaks for large corporations such as Dupont, Chevron, and AT&T; specializing in topics like leadership, crisis management, and overcoming obstacles.
So even though you’ll never have the chance to be flown anywhere by Captain Sully Sullenberger, you can still book him as a speaker at your next corporate get-together if you’re looking to be inspired by his story and experience.
Chesley Sullenberger Movie
Chesley has two great movies which are;
1. Daddy’s Home 2-2017
2. Sully: Miracle on the Hudson-2016
Chesley Sullenberger Contacts