January 21, 2009
First Officer made his first public statement to the Pilots’ Union (US Airline Pilots Association) in the form of a written statement obtained by The Street’s TED REED. Note: these are selected quotes and I have no way of knowing the length of the letter. Reed goes into more detail in his article. Just thought you’d like to hear a few words from the mystery crew. They are so modest it’s hard to find anything.
JEFF SKILES: You all need to know that when you are at the weakest, most vulnerable time of your airline career, USAPA will be there to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with you.
I have incurred a debt to these people that can never be repaid. I can only say thank you, and tell you that you have made a difference in my life.
On Thursday, many of fellow union members dropped everything, postponed their lives and rushed to New York to aid Sully, Donna, Sheila, Doreen and me in our time of greatest need.
Before we even left the ferry dock where the boats dropped us off, Dan Britt (La Guardia vice chairman) was on the scene coordinating with the police.
It was on the second day when I made a comment to Valerie Wells (a fellow pilot and USAPA committee member) about the accident being three or four days ago. She said, ‘What do you mean? It was just yesterday afternoon.’ The enormity of the USAPA effort had made me lose track of time. It hit me then. I looked around and realized that these people, all of them, had set aside their lives to rush to my aid.
They didn’t have to do this. They didn’t want to spend their days in the LGA Marriott investigating an accident. They all dropped what they were doing and postponed their lives to help me. I cannot tell you how deeply, deeply moved I am by this and how eternally grateful I am to each and every one of them.