Biden Selects Sullenberger for Aviation Ambassadorship


Chesley B. Sullenberger III gained fame in 2009 because the pilot whose nimble maneuvers safely landed a malfunctioning airplane within the Hudson River.

On Tuesday, President Biden, in a possible nod to Mr. Sullenberger’s previous, chosen him as his nominee for ambassador to the Council of the International Civil Aviation Organization, a United Nations company composed of 36 member states that develop insurance policies and requirements for world aviation.

Mr. Sullenberger, who went on to make use of his fame to induce the defeat of President Donald J. Trump in final 12 months’s election, was considered one of nine ambassador nominees Mr. Biden announced.

On Jan. 15, 2009, Mr. Sullenberger, known as Sully, was the captain of a US Airways jetliner that lost power in both its engines after taking off from La Guardia Airport and smacking right into a flock of geese. Carefully gliding the airplane within the icy river, he averted what might need been a disaster and all 155 aboard survived. Witnesses and officers on the time known as it miraculous.

“We’ve had a miracle on 34th Street,” Gov. David A. Paterson of New York mentioned at a information convention afterward. “I believe now we’ve had a miracle on the Hudson. This pilot, somehow, without any engines, was somehow able to land this plane, and perhaps without any injuries to the passengers.”

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg praised Mr. Sullenberger for “a masterful job.”

Barreling towards earth, Mr. Sullenberger shortly determined to keep away from densely populated areas and aimed for the Hudson as a substitute, warning passengers to brace themselves earlier than slamming into the river.

The passengers emerged from the airplane’s emergency exits whereas a fleet of police boats, fireboats, tugboats and Coast Guard craft responded to the scene. All of the passengers — together with one child, each pilots and three flight attendants — have been transferred to rescue boats.

The famed touchdown impressed the 2016 film “Sully,” based mostly on the pilot’s life. Directed by Clint Eastwood, the movie options Tom Hanks because the pilot and largely recounts what occurred after Mr. Sullenberger, his crew and the passengers have been rescued from the Hudson. Mr. Sullenberger additionally landed a number of e-book offers, together with an autobiography, “Highest Duty: My Search for What Really Matters,” and have become a well-liked speaker on the lecture circuit.

In September, Mr. Sullenberger urged folks to vote in opposition to Mr. Trump in an advertisement paid for by the anti-Trump group the Lincoln Project.

“From my service as an Air Force officer and a fighter pilot, I knew that serving a cause greater than oneself is the highest calling,” Mr. Sullenberger mentioned. “And it’s in that highest calling of leadership that Donald Trump has failed us so miserably.”

He additionally wrote an op-ed in The New York Times in January 2020 about his childhood struggles with stuttering, a problem that Mr. Biden has often talked about.

“Vice President Biden has spoken openly — and courageously, in my view — about the pain of his severe childhood stutter,” he wrote. “He takes time to reach out to children who have suffered as he did.”

Mr. Sullenberger, who retired from business flying in early 2010, had a childhood love of aviation and realized to fly at age 16, whereas he was in highschool.

Born in Denison, Texas, Mr. Sullenberger acquired his bachelor’s diploma in psychology from the Air Force Academy in 1973. He additionally earned two grasp’s levels, one in industrial psychology from Purdue University and one other in public administration from the University of Northern Colorado.



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