CNN identifies the pilot of Flight 1549 as Chesley B. “Sully” Sullenberger.
This is providential: Sullenberger heads up an aviation safety firm. He is a USAF veteran.
He walked the plane twice to make sure no passengers were left behind.
Two passengers, Jeff Kolodnay and Alberto Panero, both recounted that the pilot advised them before making his incredible landing: “Brace for the impact.”
More from his website:
SRM Founder Chesley B. “Sully” Sullenberger, III is a captain for a major U.S. airline with over 40 years of flying experience. A former U.S. Air Force (USAF) fighter pilot, he has served as an instructor and Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) safety chairman, accident investigator and national technical committee member. He has participated in several USAF and National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) accident investigations. His ALPA safety work led to the development of a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Advisory Circular. Working with National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) scientists, he coauthored a paper on error inducing contexts in aviation. He was instrumental in the development and implementation of the Crew Resource Management (CRM) course used at his airline and has taught the course to hundreds of his colleagues. Sully is a graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy (B.S.), Purdue University (M.S.) and the University of Northern Colorado (M.A.). He was a speaker on two panels at the High Reliability Organizations (HRO) 2007 International Conference in Deauville, France May 29-31, 2007. He has just been named a Visiting Scholar at the University of California, Berkeley.
Here is his LinkedIn page.
President & CEO
Safety Reliability Methods, Inc.
(Privately Held; Airlines/Aviation industry)
January 2007 — Present (2 years 1 month)
Providing technical expertise and strategic vision and direction to improve safety and reliability in a variety of high risk industries.
(Public Company; 10,001 or more employees; LCC; Airlines/Aviation industry)
February 1980 — Present (29 years)
Captain for major U. S. passenger airline, serving North America, Europe, Latin America, Caribbean and Hawaii with large jet equipment. Responsible for all aspects of safety and security pertaining to flight, including planning, preparation and aircraft servicing. Leader of crew and responsible for passengers and aircraft. Involved in development and implementation of the first Crew Resource Management (CRM) training course used at the airline. As a Check Airman, was responsible for the training and supervision of other airline pilots transitioning to another aircraft type or upgrading to Captain. Served as an Air Line Pilots Association Local Air Safety Chairman and Accident Investigator and national technical committee member.
United States Air Force
(Government Agency; 10,001 or more employees; Military industry)
June 1973 — February 1980 (6 years 9 months)
USAF officer and fighter pilot on F-4 aircraft. Experience in Europe, Asia and at Nellis AFB, Nevada, where I served as Blue Force Mission Commander in Red Flag joint exercises. Was a member of a USAF aircraft accident investigation board. Served as a flight training officer and unit deployment and war plans officer. Commended for writing wing after action report.
C. B. “Sully” Sullenberger’s Education
University of Northern Colorado
M. P. A., Public Administration, 1978 — 1979
M. S., Psychology (Human Factors), 1973 — 1973
Activities and Societies:
Studied human/machine interface and human performance issues under Dr. Ernest J. McCormick.
United States Air Force Academy
B. S., Psychology and Basic Sciences, 1969 — 1973
Activities and Societies:
Dean’s List, Recipient of the Outstanding Cadet in Airmanship award for 1973, selected for Cooperative Masters Program for academic excellence and completed M. S. at Purdue University 1973, selected for independent research program at Wright-Patterson AFB, OH, USAF Systems Command Research Center
NYPost interviews the pilot’s wife:
He is the consummate pilot,” said Lorrie Sullenberger of her hubby, who is an US Air Force Academy grad who flew F-4 fight planes while in the Air Force. “He is about performing that airplane to the exact precision to which it is made.”
The pilot is president and CEO of a company called Safety and Reliability Methods Inc, which says it provides “technical expertise and strategic vision and direction to improve safety and reliability in a variety of high risk industries.”
“My body won’t stop shaking,” said Lorrie, who has two daughters with Sullenberger.
But, she added, after speaking to him, “I think he’s fine. “I’m relieved.”
Stacy McCain makes a very astute observation: “The passengers aboard the plane reportedly prayed as they made their descent toward the Hudson River. It would appear, however, that their prayers were answered before they ever boarded the plane.”