Capt. Sully: I Could Have Done Better

Pilot testifies he wishes he'd warned crew before crash
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 9, 2009 11:56 AM CDT
Captain Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger testifies before a National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) hearing in Washington, Tuesday, June 9, 2009.   (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)
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(Newser) – Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger, the man the New York Daily News dubs the “Hero of the Hudson,” thinks he could have done better. “I wish I had had more time,” the now-famous pilot said today, testifying before the National Transportation Safety Board. His big regret: Not warning the flight crew or passengers that they were about to hit the water.

The only warning anyone outside the cabin got was a quick message from Sullenberger: “This is the captain—brace for impact.” When they touched down, Sullenberger and his co-pilot turned to each other and said, in unison, “Well, that wasn’t as bad as I thought.” Sullenberger’s testimony kicks off three days of NTSB hearings on the crash; they are expected to focus on the dangers of bird strikes.