Pilot Emerges as Hudson Hero

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 15, 2009 7:15 PM CST

(Newser) – A portrait of a hero is emerging from today's jet crash on the Hudson. The pilot, 57-year-old Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger, is drawing praise not only for his "masterful" landing without engines but for his calm actions afterward to make sure his passengers were OK, the Daily News reports. "He was the last one off the plane," said Mayor Bloomberg, noting that Sullenberger walked the aisles twice to make sure everyone had gotten out.

"He is the consummate pilot," his wife, Lorrie, told the New York Post. Sullenberger is a former Air Force pilot and a 29-year vet of US Airways. "He is about performing that airplane to the exact precision to which it is made," said his wife. The Daily News notes that this is apparently the first time in 45 years a major craft had to crash-land in the river—and all 155 aboard are safe. "I can't stop shaking," said Lorrie.