And don't for a moment not think that the flight attendants didn't play a significant role in the outcome. The flight attendants were Donna Dent, Doreen Welsh and Sheila Dail, and they exhibited top-shelf professionalism under the direst of circumstances--ditching a passenger aircraft in water.
Those of us who are pilots simply marveled at Sullenberger's skill and calmness. While there is no shortage of ego in the pilot community and outwardly a number of pilots humbly voiced the opinion that "they could probably have done the same," inwardly ALL who hold an FAA pilot's license literally got goose bumps upon hearing for the first time what transpired on that flight and how Sully and Skilling handled it.
And speaking of goosebumps, this superbly and incredibly well-done graphic video will do the same to you. This video puts you THERE, with US Air flight 1549 and with the air traffic controllers.
The audio is real. It is what happened, in real time on that day. The video is computer generated, but is eerily accurate and absolutely time-linked to the captured audio exchanges between the US Air flight and the air traffic controllers and other pilots.
This is our July 4th weekend. We celebrate our freedom but we also celebrate and acknowledge the heroes who had the right stuff when our country was born. Along the way, we celebrate American heroes who continue to demonstrate they have the right stuff.
Watch, enjoy and appreciate this video and what it represents. It's the stuff that heroes are made of.
(*note: There is an idiom that all smart pilots live by. It goes "Aviate. Navigate. Communicate. In that order." In the video, you'll hear where Sullenberger often does not reply to ATC--and that is because he is aviating first and navigating (to a place to put down) second.)