Wikipage excerpt #1: “Chesley Burnett ‘Sully’ Sullenberger (born 1.23.51) is a retired airline captain and aviation safety consultant. He was hailed as a hero when he successfully landed US Airways Flight 1549 upon NYC’s Hudson River on 1.15.09, after the aircraft was disabled by striking a flock of Canadian geese during its initial climb out of LaGuardia Airport. All of the 155 passengers and crew aboard the aircraft survived.”
Wikipage excerpt #2: “In a 60 Minutes interview, Sully was quoted as saying that the moments before the crash were ‘the worst, sickening, pit-of-your-stomach, falling-through-the-floor feeling’ that he had ever experienced. Speaking with Katie Couric, Sully said: ‘One way of looking at this might be that for 42 years, I’ve been making small, regular deposits in this bank of experience, education and training. And on January 15 the balance was sufficient so that I could make a very large withdrawal.”
Wikipage excerpt #3: Sullenberger testified before the U.S. House of Representatives’s Subcommittee on Aviation of the Committee on Transportation & Infrastructure on February 24, 2009, that his salary had been cut by 40 percent, and that his pension, like most airline pensions, was terminated and replaced by a ‘PBGC’ guarantee worth only pennies on the dollar.
“Sullenberger cautioned that airlines were ‘under pressure to hire people with less experience. Their salaries are so low that people with greater experience will not take those jobs. We have some carriers that have hired some pilots with only a few hundred hours of experience…there’s simply no substitute for experience in terms of aviation safety.’ Sully also mentioned his pay cut in a 10.13.09 appearance on The Daily Show.”