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Name (Last, First Middle)Sullenberger, Chesley B.
Branch at time of eventCivilian
SquadronCS 18
Home TownDenison
Home StateTX
High SchoolDenison High School, Denison, TX
High School ActivitiesBasketball,Track,Tennis, Pres,LatinClub, Band,DrumMajor
Post High SchoolNone
Academy ExperiencesSupt'sList,Dean'sList,Comm'sList,Cadet Choral,hoir,AeroClub,AviationClub
Academic Degree MajorBS Psychology, USAFA,1973 MS,IndustPsych PurdueUniv, 1974 MPA, NorthernColUniv, 1980
Active Duty AssignmentsMS,IndustrialPsych,PurdueUniv;74:PltTng,ColumbusAFB; 75:Plt426TFTngSq,LukeAFB;76:SOS(C):Plt493TFSqLakenhe athRAFStnUK;77:PltF-4D 428TFSq, NellisAFB;79: MPAUniv,NorthernCO.
Civilian Positions80: CaptBAe-146USAirways SanFranciscoCA; USAirways PhiladelphiaPA;
Award Year2009
Award Summary InformationMr. Chesley B. Sullenberger, United States Air Force Academy Class of 1973, distinguished himself through his heroic actions while serving as captain of US Airways Flight 1549 on 15 January 2009. The Airbus 320 had just taken off from New York's LaGuardia Airport, bound for Charlotte, North Carolina, when it lost power in both engines after striking a flock of birds. Mr. Sullenberger took control of the aircraft and the radios while his co-pilot attempted to restart the engines. After considering options of returning to LaGuardia or continuing on to an alternate landing site such as nearby Teterboro Airport in New Jersey, Mr. Sullenberger quickly determined that the aircraft lacked the altitude to land safely in a heavily populated area. Instead, he decided to ditch in the icy Hudson River. Clearing the George Washington Bridge by less than 900 feet, Mr. Sullenberger instructed the passen¨gers to "Brace for impact" and expertly guided the damaged aircraft to a smooth landing on the river. The flight lasted approximately six minutes, but the danger was by no means over, as the aircraft began to take on water. Mr. Sullenberger, aided by his co-pilot and three experienced flight attendants, oversaw the orderly departure of the 150 passengers through the four emergency over-wing exits and the two passenger doors at the front of the aircraft. He then walked the length of the aircraft twice to ensure everyone had escaped before becoming the last person to leave his plane.
Involved Crew Members
Burial Site/DateN/A
Aeronautical Speciality RatingPilot
Notable Military and Civilian Decorations & AwardsJabara Award, 2009
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