Chesley Sullenberger, more famously known as Captain Sully, was known around the world as the man who made the emergency landing of a commercial plane in the Hudson River, and save all lives on the plane. Sully also served 7 years in the Air Force, and flew commercial planes for 29 years. He was also assigned to various safety committees to study plane crashes and pilot reaction. Sully also attained a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and a Master’s Degree in Industrial Psychology and Public Administration. All of this wasn’t just easily attained, as there were many different factors that tied into helping Sully land that plane. And in order for Sully to gain this worldwide success, he had to have extraordinary opportunities and hidden advantages in his early life and adulthood.
Before Sully even flew commercial planes, he was kid with a knack about planes before he could even walk. In his early life, Sully would watch jets come and go from the Perrin Air Force Base (Role Models Book). Sully would also put together model airplanes and read books about aviation, along with magazines about planes or flying (Role Models Book). When Sully was around 16 years old, he went down to his local airport and found somebody to teach him how to fly (Role Models Book). Sully eventually started to fly a lot more, and was taking needed steps into being a Pilot in his later years.
He started to fly gliders in his Sophomore Year (Role Models Book), which undoubtedly helped him in the long run with flying the plane into the Hudson without power to either engine. Sully would eventually graduate high school and move farther into his career of aviation. After applying to the Air Force Academy, Sully was accepted into it, and then went to serve the next 7 years of his life as a fighter pilot (Sully Biography). He received many awards and accolades for his flying, such as the Outstanding Cadet in Airmanship Award (Role Models Book). Sully managed to attain the rank of a Captain while serving in the Air Force, giving him is nickname, “Captain Sully” (Sully Biography).
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After being honorably discharged from the US Air Force, Sully went on to become a commercial plane pilot for the next 29 years (Role Models Book). During his flying, he studied with many different boards and committees about crashes, and how pilots will react, how fast they react, and how rational their choices are (Sully Biography). By now, Sully has attained about more than 20,000 hours in the cockpit, making him an elite pilot (Sully Biography). Sully was a very active and ardent safety advocate (Sully Biography), and one of the first groups he took part in was with the Air Force. They selected him to “perform accident investigative duties for the United States Air Force” (Sully Biography). Sully looked into crashes and studied the outcome and the actions that had to be taken at the moment of the crash. Sully calculated survival rates, their reaction time, their rationale, and how long it took. These statistics helped engineers and aviation instructors create better planes, and teach more valuable lessons.
Sully soon went on to be discharged from the Air Force, and started flying commercial planes. Here, he took part and served as an Air Line Pilots Association representative (ALPA), and was a Local Air Safety Chairman (Sully Biography). Sully was also studying the crashes of the commercial airlines, and was figuring out how to prevent them. All of this studying of airline crashes granted Sully the mindset to take action in an emergency situation like the engine failure. Even with how prepared Captain Sully could be, there is no way that he could take all of the credit.
During the plane getting ready for takeoff, a passenger, Dan Norton, took his seat in the exit row, so he read the safety instructions to the door (Role Models Book). A little after the engines started to fail, Sully called in to the Air Traffic Control Tower to give them his situation. He also called in to the Emergency Services around the Hudson and called for help getting out of the Hudson. As soon as Sully landed in the Hudson, the police, the coast guard, and firefighters rushed to the plane. When Sully came out of cockpit, he yelled to everyone to evacuate. The passengers complied and quickly made it outside of the plane. This event cause the fame of Captain Sully, but his past holds all of the reasons that he could complete that landing. His knowledge of plane crashes, his experience in both the cockpit and real life situations, and the people around him all had something to do with landing that plane.
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