Hudson Hero Is Glider Pilot, Safety Guru, Air Force Vet
Cool-headed captain has advised NASA, FAA
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Jan 16, 2009 10:28 AM CST

(Newser) – The US Airways pilot who saved the lives of his passengers and crew in yesterday’s crash landing was perfectly suited to the job: he’s a certified glider pilot and runs a safety company, the New York Post reports. After an apparent bird strike disabled the plane’s engines, the aircraft essentially became a glider, which Chesley B. "Sully" Sullenburger III guided into the Hudson River.

Sullenberger, who graduated from the Air Force Academy in 1973, has worked to improve FAA safety rules and advised NASA. His company applies his methods to other industries. Having flown for 4 decades, “he's about performing that airplane to the exact precision to which it is made,” said his wife. Even in light of Sullenberger’s background, yesterday’s landing was “nothing short of incredible,” said another US Airways pilot.