After Captain Chesley Burnett Sullenberger made the first successful water airplane emergency landing without casualties in 45 years, he was deemed a national hero in the hearts of many across the world. This attitude has carried over into Facebook, as one thankful user has created a fan page for the pilot.
Last week, a flock of geese caused both engines of Captain Sullenberger’s US Airways Airbus A320, causing the pilot to need to make quick decisions regarding the safety of his 155 passengers on board. Just minutes after take-off from La Guardia airport, and reaching an altitude of only 3,200ft, Captain Sullenberger and his co-pilot Jeff Skiles registered the geese hitting the plane and realized an emergency landing was in order.
In communication with air traffic control, Captain Sullenberger decided not to land at any nearby airports, as they were farther away and were also heavily populated areas. He decided instead to make an emergency landing in the Hudson River, causing a surreal experience for passengers and onlookers alike.
Over the weekend, Twitter and other online social media outlets were abuzz with photos from passing dinner ferries and other onlookers, amazed at the scene before them. In honorable Captain form, Sullenberger was the last to leave the plane, ensuring his passengers and crew made it to safety above all else.
It’s a truly amazing story and one that will be commemorated for some time, thanks to the efforts of others that have garnered additional ongoing support for Captain Sullenberger through his Facebook fan page. More information of the event and commemorative information regarding the rest of flight 1549’s crew will be added to Captain Sullenberger’s Facebook fan page, which has now reached over 370,000 fans.