A Danville pilot is being hailed as a national hero after he made an emergency water landing in the Hudson River in New York this afternoon. All 150 passengers and the flight crew were rescued and none suffered serious injuries, according to news reports.
The pilot, Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger, reported to Federal Aviation Administration officials that two birds were sucked into the plane's engines. Sullenberger was flying a US Airways Airbus, which had just taken off from LaGuardia Airport on its way to Charlotte, N.C. The crash occurred at 3:26 p.m. eastern time, going down in the river near 48th street in midtown Manhattan.
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg praised Sullenberger, calling the incident the "Miracle of the Hudson," in reference to the "Miracle on 34th Street."
Bloomberg said the pilot walked the plane twice to make sure that all passengers got off the aircraft to safety.
Sullenberger is the CEO and president of Safety Reliability Methods, Inc. in Danville. On the company's website, it reads "Safety Reliability Methods, Inc. (SRM) was created to apply the latest advances in safety and high performance and high reliability processes to organizations in a variety of fields. Many of these advances have their genesis in the ultra-safe world of commercial aviation. Others have been developed as a result of studies of high-risk, high performance environments such as aircraft carrier flight deck operations and the energy industry."
On Sullenberger's LinkedIn profile, it says he started Safety Reliability Methods in January 2007. He has worked for US Airways for 29 years and served as an Air Line Pilots Association Local Air Safety Chairman and Accident Investigator and national technical committee member. Prior to that, he was a fighter pilot and captain in the U.S. Air Force from 1973-1980, flying F-4 aircraft.
To view a copy of Sullenberger's resume and accomplishments click here