Sully Sullenberger: An Example of the Experience of Older Pilots

artpilotsullenbergerPoliticians are heralding the actions of the pilots of the US Airways flight that landed in the Hudson River — an effort described as “miraculous” by Chelsey B. “Sully” Sullenberger, a former Air Force fighter pilot, has been with US Airways since 1980. As the lawyer for older pilots fighting to retain their benefits and rights, I will simply note that many of these same politicians have worked to have pilots over 60 years old fired and stripped of their benefit and seniority.

“Sully” Sullenberger was piloting US Airways flight 1549 from New York’s LaGuardia airport to Charlotte, North Carolina, when at least one of the plane’s engines failed.

He was able to call upon decades of experience to save the lives of every pilot on that aircraft. Yet, Congress continues to work tirelessly to fire pilots like Sully and deprive them of a lifetime of benefits. Sully is reportedly 57 and would have been fired under the Age 60 rule in three years. Now, he is able to continue to fly after the pilots forced a change in Congress. However, Congress still stripped pilots over 60 of their benefits and status in a demand from the powerful pilots’ union, ALPA. We are continuing our litigation to seek to overturn that law.

For the full story, click here.

13 thoughts on “Sully Sullenberger: An Example of the Experience of Older Pilots”

  1. im sixteen years old and in my english class im doing a project on chelsey B.sullenberger as the most influential person of 2009 ..cuzz he is a ture hero … 🙂

  2. im sixteen years old and in my english class im doing a project on chelsey B.sullenberger cuzz he is a ture hero … 🙂

  3. I can’t imagine a more powerful “I told you so” event. The emotional praise for this experienced pilot has captured everybody’s attention, even upstaging the final speech of an exiting president.

    I happened to catch a bit of Ed Schultz’s broadcast, and he was kidding about looking for pilots with a little gray hair when he has to fly on commercial airlines. From now on, Congress will look foolish pushing their age 60 limit, especially now that the press knows this issue is hugely interesting to the public and will be very likely to give it some coverage.

  4. From what we seem to be learning about Mr. Sullenberger’s entire life, he is someone that any business would want to hang on to, as long as possible. Captain Sullenberger, his crew, and all responders, civilian and official in New York and New Jersey all have clearly demonstrated what the best of America is all about.

  5. I think that youth is not determinative. People can die suddenly at any age for a variety of reasons. Youth does not equal health.

  6. That’s the first thing I thought of when I saw his picture, and I even mentioned it to my husband – the experience he has in the air surely contributed to his perfectly executed landing. While I would like to believe all pilots could do it, we all know with age comes experience. Let the older, experienced pilots keep flying!

  7. Don’t know if he got his initial pilot training in the U.S. Air Force, but he’s a credit to them nonetheless. In my opinion the Air force offers the best training a pilot can get.

    Way to go, “Sully”. Nerves of steel.

  8. What a metaphor for the Bush legacy. A noisy bird fouls the works and causes catastrophic failure. The unacknowledged qualified and competent experts work as a team against all odds (deregulation, gutting aviation safety, outsourcing jobs, not protection whistle-blowers, terrible work conditions, undermining unions and workers’ rights, etc.) and ditch, rather than crash, the plane. They even walk the aisles twice peering into all the nooks and crannies to assure that no one has been left behind. The passengers wait in and on the wings for rescue.

    To be continued….Jan 20.

  9. This story has such a great ending! I am so glad to hear that everyone survived!!

    This could have ended badly, but thankfully, it did not!

  10. I followed the link to Mr. Sullenberger’s very impressive two-page resume. Not one word (or date) on the resume indicates his age. It’s obviously intentional — and who could blame him.

  11. I thought of the age restrictions when I first saw Mr. Sullenberger’s photo earlier today. I wonder if Congressmen, many who are too old and/or senile to effectively legislate from the comfort of their desks, can now see the wisdom of allowing ‘aged’ pilots to retain their licenses as long as they pass rigorous physicals and mental evaluations.

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