Hudson River hero pilot gets U.S. air force award
April 17, 2009 – The U.S. Airways pilot who safely landed his plane in New York's Hudson River received an airmanship award Wednesday from the Air Force Academy, where he graduated in 1973.
The U.S. Airways pilot who safely landed his plane in New York's Hudson River received an airmanship award Wednesday from the Air Force Academy, where he graduated in 1973.
Capt. Chesley (Sully) Sullenberger received the Col. James Jabara Award for Airmanship and reviewed a parade of all 4,000 cadets at the elite school.
Sullenberger is well-known at his alma mater, where he studied psychology and served as a glider pilot instructor.
He was in the same graduating class as the academy's superintendent, Lt.-Gen. John Regni.
When he was commissioned, Sullenberger was named best aviator in his class, winning an award called “Outstanding Cadet in Airmanship.''
He served in the air force until 1980, when he became a commercial pilot.
Sullenberger, who lives in Danville, Calif., has flown for US Airways for nearly 30 years and runs a safety consulting firm.
He landed the US Airways jetliner in the Hudson on Jan. 15 after it was struck by geese and lost power following take-off. All 155 people aboard survived.
Sullenberger plans to fly gliders during his two-day visit to the academy, which ends Thursday.
The Jabara airmanship award established in 1967 is named for Col. James Jabara, who recorded 15 aircraft kills during the Korean War.