Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger III was among the people named by President Joseph Biden as envoys and ambassadors.
Captain Sullenberger is best known for his role as pilot in command of US Airways Flight 1549 which, in 2009, ditched in the Hudson River off Manhattan’s West Side after both engines of the Airbus A320 were disabled by a birdstrike. All 155 people on board survived and the story became the basis for the movie “Sully,” starring Tom Hanks in the title role.
President Biden selected Sullenberger as his nominee for ambassador to the Council of International Civil Aviation Organization, the United Nations agency responsible for the development of policies and standards for global aviation.
Sullenberger, who was a retired Air Force pilot, left US Airways after 30 years as a pilot there. He was ranked second in Time magazine’s Top 100 Most Influential Heroes and Icons of 2009 and is the co-author with Jeffrey Zaslow of the bestseller “Highest Duty: My Search for What Really Matters,” a memoir of his life and the events of Flight 1549.
Sully skillfully glided the A320 into the icy waters of the Hudson after taking off from La Guardia Airport and smacking into a flock of geese. Contemporary witnesses called the successful ditching “a miracle.”
(Photo: Accura Media Group)