By: William M. Berman, Managing Partner
NEW YORK, NEW YORK – Captain Chelsey B. Sullenberger III, head pilot of the now infamous US Airways Flight 1549 that landed safely in the Hudson River last Thursday, has been hailed a hero. And to the extent that the term “hero” is often charged as being overused, such is not the case here. By keeping his calm while at the same time using his education, training and instincts, Captain Sullenberger successfully negotiated an emergency water landing against tremendous odds, a landing that saved the lives of all 155 passengers and fellow crew aboard his flight.
While media stories of the breathtaking events from many of those involved in the perils and rescues of Flight 1549 have been widespread, Captain Sullenberger himself has yet to be heard. But that will all change come Monday. It has been announced by NBC that Captain Sullenberger will appear in his first interview this Monday morning with Matt Lauer on TODAY, NBC. The interview will be filmed from Washington D.C. where Matt Lauer is on location to report President Elect Barack Obama’s inauguration on Tuesday. Given the publicity surrounding the events of Flight 1549 which has captured the attention of the entire nation, the interview of Captain Sullenberger is expected to be highly viewed.
Here is Captain Sullengberger’s personal bio as it appears on the homepage of his company’s website:
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.
For all of us around the country that value human life, we want to thank you Captain Sullenberger. You saved many lives, and you are indeed a true hero.
William M. Berman is the Founding and Managing Partner of Berman & Riedel, LLP, a California based plaintiffs’ civil litigation firm which focuses its practice in handling catastrophic personal injury and wrongful death matters including aviation accidents.