"Miracle on the Hudson" pilot retires

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Friday, March 5, 2010

Chesley Sullenberger.
Image: Ingrid Taylor.

On Wednesday, Captain Chesley Sullenberger retired. The US Airways pilot was best known for the "Miracle on the Hudson," when he landed Flight 1549 safely down on the Hudson River on January 15, 2009. After a bird strike in which both engines were blown out, Sullenberger was forced to land the plane, which carried 150 passengers, safely down on the river. With help from the crew and first responders on scene, all those on the plane survived with minimal injuries.

Following the near disaster, many people hailed Sullenberger as a hero. Over the past year, he has been involved in writing a book, giving speeches, and appearing before Congress. During his testimony before Congress, he spoke about the importance of pilot safety. He also served as the grand marshal of the 2010 Tournament of Roses Parade. Sullenberger was additionally hailed at the Obama inauguration and Super Bowl XLIV.

On his final flight, Sullenberger flew from Fort Lauderdale to Charlotte. His co-pilot on the flight, Jeff Skiles, had been with him on Flight 1549. Sullenberger was joined on the flight by his wife, Lorrie, and five passengers from Flight 1549. Sullenberger said in a statement, that he will continue to work as an advocate for aviation safety.