It is under the greatest adversity that there exists the greatest potential for doing good, both for oneself and others."
― Dalai Lama XIV
He says that he was simply doing the job he was trained to do, but when Captain Chesley B. “Sully” Sullenberger stepped into the cockpit of US Air Flight 1549 on January 15, 2009, he didn’t know that he would also be stepping into history.
When his Airbus A319 lost both engines from goose strikes just after taking off from LaGuardia Airport, Captain “Sully” managed to safely land his jet on the Hudson River, saving the lives of all 155 passengers and crew on board.
Not only did Captain Sully successfully ditch the airplane, but with the rear of the aircraft quickly filling with frigid water, he searched the airplane cabin twice after its evacuation to ensure that there were no other passengers or crew on board.
The NTSB proclaimed the “Miracle on the Hudson” the most successful ditching in aviation history.
After a 30-year career as a commercial pilot for US Airways, Sullenberger retired on March 3, 2010. He currently is an international speaker on airline safety, has authored two books, and is consultant on CBS News as an Aviation and Safety Expert.
But for most of us, he is Captain Sully, who showed deep concern for the health and safety of his passengers, and who is one of today’s modern heroes. And that is why, at the 8th Annual Red Tie Affair to be held on May 3, it is our honor to present this modest hero with our Spirit of the Red Cross Award.
He may believe that he was “just doing his job,” but we know better.