Is Sully Based on A True Story: Following bird strikes on both engines of US Airways Flight 1549 on January 15, 2009, Captain Chesley Sullenberger successfully made a water landing on the Hudson River in New York City. They created a movie about it seven years later, starring none other than Tom Hanks.
Our editorial is totally impartial. When you use links on this page to buy goods or services, we could get paid a commission; however, this in no way influences the content of our writing. The movie recently debuted (safely) on Netflix, giving the narrative a hugely expanded audience in the UK.
Is Sully Based on A True Story?
Yes, Sully is based on The Miracle on the Hudson, a miraculous true story that inspired the film. On January 15, 2009, US Pilot Chesley Sullenberger was in charge of US Airways Flight 1549 when both of the aircraft’s engines were hit by birds.
Sullenberger decided to land the jet on the Hudson River because he was out of alternatives for safely bringing the aircraft to a stop. As a consequence, all 155 passengers and crew members survived.
Who Is Captain Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger?
Former Air Force fighter pilot Captain Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger is a retired airline captain. Sully, who was born on January 23, 1951, in Denison, Texas, enlisted in the US Air Force in 1969. He was shortly sent to RAF Lakenheath’s 493d Tactical Fighter Squadron in the United Kingdom.
In 1980, he began flying commercially for Pacific Southwest Airlines after serving as a flight leader and training officer. He is well remembered for his significant contribution to The Miracle on the Hudson, in which he made the important choice to fly the plane into the Hudson River despite knowing that its engines would not be able to return it to an airfield in time. After 30 years of flying commercial aircraft, Sully resigned a year after the bizarre event. He now works for CBS News as an aviation and safety specialist.
How Did He Land a Plane on The Hudson River?
150 passengers and five crew members boarded US Airways Flight 1549 at 3:15 p.m. on January 15, 2009, at New York’s LaGuardia Airport. At 3:27 PM, the aircraft came upon a flock of Canada geese, which were sucked into the aircraft’s engines and caused the jet to crash.
Since returning to LaGuardia was out of the question, Sully made the agonizing decision to try to land the jet in the Hudson River. The crew helped passengers from the airplane and onto the wings after it had touched down in the river.
For fear of an explosion, some passengers dove into a river and swam away from the plane. Within four minutes, the first rescue vessel, the NY Waterway ferry Thomas Jefferson, arrived to save the passengers. Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama issued Sully nationwide calls of appreciation after ensuring everyone’s safety.
Why Was Sully Investigated?
In the months following the flight’s landing, Sullenberger admitted that he wasn’t certain of his decision-making process. Sullenberger told Newsweek, “We weren’t certain for many months following the inquiry that we truly had taken the right judgments at every turn and would finally be exonerated. The majority of people are unaware of that aspect of the narrative.
The flight and Sully’s choice to land in the Hudson rather than try to take it back to a nearby airport were the subjects of separate investigations by the National Transportation Safety Board, US congress, and the Pilot’s Union the same year.
The inquiry by the National Transportation Safety Board is the major subject of the movie. The NTSB is required by policy to look at every potential cause of a crash, according to The Guardian. The organization expressed dissatisfaction in 2016 at how the movie portrayed it.
“The KGB is not us. Robert Benzon, who oversaw the National Transportation Safety Board’s inquiry, remarked, “We’re not the Gestapo. We are the white hat-wearing men. These men were already revered in their country. We had absolutely no intention of embarrassing anyone.
Where is Captain Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger Now?
Since his retirement in 2010, Sully has become a best-selling book and works as the aviation and safety expert on CBS News. He also gives motivational speeches, exhorting listeners everywhere to “reach for the sky.”