CORRECTION: It was not Jeff Skiles who gave up his shirt. It was an “unnamed” third man in the cockpit. Aka Air Marshall?
More info on the flight crew of 1549. It was no ordinary crew. It’s hard to believe there’s a more experienced group of 5 in a flight crew anywhere and yet all we hear about are drunken pilots and celebrities acting up on planes. The pilots have more than 50 years experience and the flight attendants 92. All on the same flight. How many times had they all flown together? There are so many curiosities to all this that hopefully will be answered Feb 8th on 60 Minutes with Katie Couric.
Piloting the plane of course was Captain Chelsey Sullenberger III, 58, Danville, CA, 19,663 flight hours. Unbelievable bio, USAIR 1549 pix, videos: (1-17) before, during, after, ferry rescue, wife and daughters, (1-19) flight sim, (1-22) doors open/passengers getting out, (1-23) pedestrians’ live reaction to landing, welcome home plans and (1-24-09) Capt & Lori Sullenberger comments back home in Danville.
Jeffrey Skiles, 49, Oregon, Wisconsin, 15,643 flight hours. According to New York Post’s PEDRO OLIVEIRA, JR & TOM NAMAKO, Skiles actually (“Unnamed man in the cockpit”) gave up his shirt to Bruce Leonard, who had the notion of swimming to shore. I don’t think he’s the one who went off the left wing into the water in the (1-17) video.
I was obviously very cold, and one of the pilots turned to me and said, ‘Please take off your wet shirt, and I’ll give you my dry one,’ ” Leonard told ABC‘s “Good Morning America. “He literally gave me the shirt off his back to keep me warmer. I still have it. And I’m never going to give it up. They are heroes.”
>Skiles’ wife on the incident:
The humble pilot barely made an issue of the shirt in one of two phone conversations with his wife. “He mentioned some fellow who didn’t seem to have a shirt on,” but that was all he said about the gracious act, according to his wife. He told her that he scoured the plane for life vests after he noticed some people didn’t have them, she said. His legs went almost immediately numb in the frigid waters. Still, Skiles showed some humor when his wife asked how he was doing. “He said, ‘I’m wet and I smell like the Hudson River.”
MADISON WKOW TV 27:
GOV JIM DOYLE: Like everyone who saw this remarkable story unfold, I was deeply impressed with the decisive action of the pilots who were able to bring down a wounded plane and save all 155 people aboard. I am especially proud that one of the pilots, Jeffrey Skiles, lives with his family in Oregon, Wisconsin. On behalf of our state, I thank you for helping to save lives in a moment of crisis. Your heroism and the heroic actions of your fellow crew members have made all the difference in the world for your passengers and all their family members
From Madison WKOW27. DELORIS SKILES (mother) said of his son’s invitation to the Inauguration:
It’s a momentous occasion. He’ll enjoy himself, and take his mind off the forced landing. He’s very happy that he’s going. I know my son, I know he’s a very professional, responsible pilot.
I think that’s clear. From NY Times’ Lede blog RAY RIVERA & LIZ ROBBINS:
BARBARA SKILES (wife): Asked how she felt now, she said: “You know, on the one hand, what’s the likelihood that anyone would ever be in two dramatic air accidents? It’s almost like being struck by lightning. It’s happened now, it’s not likely to happen again. On the other hand, when it actually comes down to it, I’m not sure how I’m going to feel, and I’m not sure how he’s going to feel about it.”
Compiled from the Daily News’ JONATHAN LEMIRE and STEPHANIE GASKEL.
Doreen Welsh, 58 (38 years experience), Ambridge, PA was in charge in the rear. A passenger forced the rear exit door open against the orders of Welsh but she was able to close it even as the frigid water rushed in. (Air 20 degrees/water 36 degrees.) She waded through chest high water, unaware she sustained a gash to her leg, and herded folks forward to get out on the wing. Brian Campbell, a passenger in the rear of the plane, said of Welsh:
Turn around, you’ve got to get out on the wing.
Upfront were Dent and Dail who got folks out on the wing and into rafts.
Donna Dent, 51 (26 years experience), Winston-Salem, NC. Dent’s friend said she that she had been on a plane that’s lost power in one engine but not two. Dent told her told:
I did what I was supposed to do. I just did my job.
Sheila Dail, 57 (28 years experience), Weaverville, NC – I haven’t been able to find info.
National Transportation Safety Board spokeswoman Kathryn (Kitty) Higgins during her press conference couldn’t hide the pride in her voice.
This is a testament to experienced women doing their jobs.
Without all five working as a team it would not have worked. I imagine when they finally all got together a look was all that was needed. All of them have asked for the press to back off – not just Captain Sullenberger.
According to the US Airways Flight 1549 wiki entry:
The Guild of Air Pilots and Air Navigators awarded the entire crew of Flight 1549 a Masters Medal on January 22, 2009. The medal is awarded only rarely for outstanding aviation achievements. It is issued at the discretion of the Master of the Guild.
The reactions of all members of the crew, the split second decision making and the handling of this emergency and evacuation was `text book` and an example to us all. To have safely executed this emergency ditching and evacuation, with the loss of no lives, is a heroic and unique aviation achievement. It deserves the immediate recognition that has today been given by the Guild of Air Pilots and Air Navigators.
Doreen Welsh, Sheila Dail, Donna Dent, Captain Sully Sullenberger, Jeff Skiles
(DAVID PAUL MORRIS/Getty)
Danville Welcome Home: Lori & Sully Sullenberger