Then the Lord called, "Samuel! Samuel!" and he said, "Here I am!"
1 Samuel 3:4
1 Samuel 3:4
NEW YORK - Chesley Sullenberger spent practically his whole life preparing for the five-minute crucible that was US Airways Flight 1549.
He got his pilot's license at 14, was named best aviator in his class at the Air Force Academy, flew fighter jets, investigated air disasters, mastered glider flying and even studied the psychology of how cockpit crews behave in a crisis.
When the ultimate test came on a descent over the Hudson River, he spoke into the intercom only once and gave perhaps the most terrifying instruction a pilot can give - "Brace for impact" - with remarkable calm.
And as the 150 passengers of Flight 1549 marveled at their hero pilot's skill and cool head, they learned what friends and relatives of Sullenberger say they have known all along.
On Friday, the 57-year-old pilot fielded a congratulatory call from President George W. Bush. The engineer of what Gov. David Paterson called "a miracle on the Hudson" had yet to speak publicly, but the accolades piled up. Mayor Michael Bloomberg showed off a key to the city for the pilot. Congress took up a resolution paying tribute. The governor said someone had offered $10,000 to build a statue of Sullenberger.
His wife, Lorraine, appearing outside their Danville, Calif., home, called her husband a "pilot's pilot" who "loves the art of the airplane." She described him, as almost everyone else had, as controlled and professional.
"This is the Sully I know," she said. "I always knew how he would react. So to me this is not something unusual. It's the man I know."
ERIN McCLAM, Associated Press
Saturday, January 17, 2009
And the LORD came and stood forth, calling as at other times, "Samuel! Samuel!" And Samuel said, "Speak, for thy servant hears."
1 Samuel 3:10