Flight 1549 First Officer Jeff Skiles

January 31, 2009

Flight 1549 posts

I’ve been trying to find more info on the flight crew. They’re so modest it’s hard to find quotes and articles.

First Officer Jeff Skiles, 49, has been flying since age 15 and has a 17 y/o daughter and 15 & 12 y/o sons. He has worked for US Airways for 22 years. When asked by a reporter how he felt about being called a hero:

I’m just an airline pilot, and that’s what we do. We weren’t doing anything any other pilot wouldn’t have done.

His parents, both of whom are pilots: who are pilots themselves, said: “Hey, it’s his job.”

He and the crew really believe that and have all said they were just doing what they were trained to do. 142 years of combined experience might have a lot to do with it.

Billy Campbell, 49, said to Skiles in the life raft: “You’ve done something amazing!”

SKILES: No one has ever pulled this off.

Campbell then thanked Sullenberger for saving his life.

SULLENBERGER: You’re welcome.

(1-17-09) WKOW 27 BARB SKILES, (wife) to whom he has been married for 30 years recollecting talking to him on the phone. He said that he was still wet when he got to the hotel room and had to use the heater to dry his clothes. Didn’t they supply them with fresh clothes?

He definitely sounded winded or shaken. He said, ‘Usually you don’t get such good endings.’

He was surprised emergency officials had arrived so quickly – they were already there when he opened the door of the plane.

He was really grateful and really impressed about the response that they got, how quickly boats were at the side of the airplane. He said that probably saved lives, because if people had had to go into the water, it could have been really bad.

(1-18-09) Matthew Skiles (15) wrote on his Facebook page

Barack Obama himself invited my mom and dad to the inauguration. My dad gets to be on stage and later attend a ball. I don’t get to go.

(1-19-09) Oregon Village Board President Steve Staton said no plans had been made on how to honor Skiles – he wanted to talk to the family first. In his statement, Staton recognized Skiles for “his exemplary performance.” And that he “showed the importance of training and preparation on the job” and is a “a role model for young people”.

(1-20-09) Skiles, Sullenberger and two flights attendants (I’m guessing Sheila Dail and Donna Dent – Doreen Welsh sustained a deep laceration on her leg) met with the President and First Lady at the Neighborhood Ball and said that barry told the crew, “Good job!” and then they took pictures together and with guests. Skiles wife Barbara had campaigned for barry in her neighborhood in Oregon, Wisconsin.

SKILES: He was pretty much directing the whole thing. He would be like, ‘Michelle goes here, I go there. And now, one just with the families’. He was a very, very nice guy.

(1-23-09) Formal call from Wisconsin Gov Jim Doyle (D-WI):

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

(1-26-09) Skiles appeared as Gov. Jim Doyle’s guest at his State of the State address. Asked if he wished he’d done anything differently the day of the crash;

SKILES: No. Not really. We were doing our job.

I’d just like to say we were all very fortunate that things went our way and there were a lot more people involved than just me. Flight attendants in back who evacuated the airplane, all the first responders who where there with the boats, the New York Fire Department, the New York Police Department, all had a role in the successful outcome. We were quite fortunate.

Doyle’s wife, Jessica, in the balcony, stood up quietly in acknowledgment. Skiles did not address those assembled and was reportedly uncomfortable with the applause.

Vodpod videos no longer available.



Jeffrey, your heroism and heroic actions of your fellow crew members have made all the difference in the world for your passengers and all their families. Thank you on behalf of the state of Wisconsin.

Finally figured out who Skiles reminded me of in general sense.


(Jeff Skiles, Errol Flynn)

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