Pilot Chesley B. ‘Sully” Sullenberger safely landed an 80-ton falling missile in the frigid waters of the Hudson River nearly two weeks ago and quickly became a national hero. His heads-up reaction – with the help of his crew and a few alert passengers — to everything going wrong resulted in something going right, the end result being that all 155 people aboard US Airways Flight 1549 walked away from the watery crash landing. Since the “Miracle on the Hudson,” Sullenberger and everyone on board became instant celebrities, especially the pilot.
This is one of the rewards of doing something right.
People couldn’t get enough of “Sully” Sullenberger. His family was interviewed. The man himself went into a self-sequestered hiding to avoid the spotlight. And when he agreed to appear on the “Today Show,” he begged off, asking that everyone be patient while the investigation was ongoing but he would honor US Airways’ wishes that no interviews be given until more was known about the crash.
But that did not stop the interviews and high-profile invitations from coming in.
In a nation and world desperate for good news, the story of US Airways Flight 1549, “Sully” Sullenberger, co-pilot Jeff Stiles, and the “Miracle on the Hudson” was made to order. When America needed a hero that showed that quick wits and a sure hand could indeed win the day, Sullenberger provided one for them. In recognition, President Barack Obama invited Pilot Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger and his family to the Inauguration.
And then TV Guide reported that the ABC hit drama “Lost” invited the crew to the set of the show. “Lost” began when the passengers of a crashed airplane were forced to survive on a tropical island. Although not as mysterious as “Lost,” the unintended script of Sullenberger’s and all those aboard Flight 1549 has become an exciting tale worth hearing.
CBS’ “60 Minutes” landed the first television interview with Sullenberger (after the nixed “Today Show” interview fell through). Katie Couric nabbed the coveted interview for “60 Minutes.” The segment will be shown on the CBS news magazine on February 8.
“The Late Show with David Letterman” will be the first late night talk show to have “The Hero of the Hudson” on. Sullenberger will appear on the CBS David Letterman’s late show on February 10.
US Airways Flight 1549 experienced engine failure barely a minute after takeoff on when they were hit with a bird strike, and then another, which effectively shut down both engines. Pilot Sullenberger, with his co-pilot, Jeff Stiles, then piloted the massive glider over the George Washington Bridge and into the Hudson River, an event that New York Governor David Paterson just a few hours later would dub the “Miracle on the Hudson.”