Capt. Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger III returned to New York on Wednesday to mark the fifth anniversary of the Miracle on the Hudson, when he landed a crippled jetliner safely on the river.
Sullenberger was flying U.S. Airways Flight 1549 with 155 people aboard from New York to Charlotte, N.C., when a flock of geese jammed the plane's engines shortly after the jet departed from LaGuardia Airport in Queens. He managed to safely land the disabled aircraft in the waterway separating New York from New Jersey, a feat the media referred to as the “Miracle on the Hudson.”
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Sullenberger refers to it as “the most harrowing three minutes of my life.”
Sullenberger has been honored by both Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama and went on to become a best-selling author. He returned to flying after the incident, but retired as a pilot in 2010.
AmNewYork said Sullenberger, who lives in the California town of Danville, was in the area
to promote a new $5,400 watch dubbed the “208 seconds Aeroscope,” which takes its name from a nod to how long it took the retired pilot to land the Airbus A319. Some of the proceeds from the sales will be donated to the American Red Cross and the Rory Staunton Foundation, which works with efforts to more efficiently diagnose and treat sepsis, especially in children.
Sullenberger said he retains an affinity for the Big Apple. “Part of my heart will always be in New York because of the wonderful outcome and wonderful welcome I received,” he said, amNewYork reported.
SiliconBeat.com wrote that the 2009 incident helped launch Twitter
into the forefront of social networking, as ferry passenger Janis Krums drew unprecedented attention to the medium after he tweeted a photo he took of the crippled aircraft.
“It’s one of those regular reminders of how fast technology is changing and how fast that change is transforming the way we all live,” SiliconBeat.com wrote. “In five years, Twitter has grown from a fail-whale-laden novelty that many had never heard of, to a go-to news provider that drives the national conversation.”
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