Larry King: Crew of Flight 1549 Part 1 (video)

February 11, 2009

Flight 1549 appearances

2-10 Flight 1549 Flight Crew
Flight 1549 crew (transcript)

Part 1 (7:21)
Part 2 (8:08)

2-11 Flight crew, passengers, rescuers
Flight 1549 crew, passengers, rescuers (transcript)
Flight 1549 passengers react to cockpit recording
Links to Larry King CNN video

The crew of Flight 1549: Capt Sullenberger, First Officer Jeff Skiles and Flight Attendants Doreen Welsh 38 yrs, Sheila Dail 28 yrs, Donna Dent 26 yrs.

Not all five had worked together before. Sully had never worked with First Officer Jeff Skiles before. Skiles is a full pilot who has been working as copilot because of layoffs. They were working a stretch of 4 days.

Day 1 Charlotte – > San Francisco

Day 2 Pittsburgh – > Charlotte – > Pittsburgh

Day 3 Pittsburgh

Day 4 Pittsburgh – > Charlotte – > NY – > Hudson River enroute to Charlotte

Part 1


King asks whether there’s any apprehension about flying again.

Sully, who is retired USAF does not hesitate. “No. I’ll be going back to work as soon as I am ready…when my sleep schedule allows.”

Skiles: Says same and talks about sleep but never answers the question.

Dail smiles and laughs: “I need to take some time at home and feel like I can to go back to being my calm self.”

Least worried about her.

Welsh: Doesn’t know what she’s going to do…it’s only been 3 weeks…hasn’t made any decisions.

Never is coming back nor should she have to.

In an overly bright politically correct voice:

Dent: “I will definitely fly again. I’m not sure exactly when – but probably soon.”

KING: “But you wouldn’t want to fly tonite.”

She makes a face like you’re outta your damn mind Larry and then catches herself and says in a very light voice: “I could.”

KING: “But you would then. If they called you tonite and said someone on the crew…”

DENT nodding: “Yes. If they needed me, I could.”


The emphasis means could I? As in ohmigod are they going to make me? She looked like she was thinking that her lifelong dream was ruined (it was) and was about to cave. They cut away so who knows how quickly she recovered. I wonder what type of support system she has. It doesn’t look like she has sat down and cried yet. That scarf around her neck is holding the screams in.

She is the most worrisome one, folks. Get her help and no matter what don’t send her back even if she says she’s ok. If she thinks she’s ready have her sit down and look at the footage of her saying this. If she laughs and says wasn’t I a crazy fool to think it would be that easy – fine. My guess she would completely collapse watching herself say those words in an attempt to convince herself that things will be normal.

There is no such thing as normal anymore for them. It’s all before and after.

What in the hell happens if they freak out? Even if there is an extra flight attendant to cover – they would have nowhere to run to get away and have to spend hours until they could. That would be pure horror. And even with practice flights, until they are 100% responsible for their job there is no way of knowing their reaction.

Personally, I don’t think these folks should ever have to fly (work) again. Ever. They should be completely compensated with their commensurate salaries that should increase as they normally would, as well as full medical and psychological benefits until the mandatory retirement age. And they should also be allowed to fly free on any carrier to anywhere at any time. If they so choose to teach or give speeches – they should be compensated separately. And each one should get a private book account of what happened and a little bio TV bit about who they are.

And then we will be able to see just how much stress there really was between them. There is a very odd dynamic among them. When one answers the questioner – the others don’t watch the person speaking. It’s all very odd.

There will probably be at least one passenger who will sue and maybe more after that…but what would the airlines be paying if all 155 souls had perished? This crew deserves to get whatever they want. They could even sue US Airways themselves and/or the New York Port Authority for not having bird-detecting radar installed and they would have every right to do that. Not a single one should have to worry about their financial, physical or psychological health and they should have that in writing before they make a decision to get back on that plane to work.

I’ve only heard Sully say he has flown and he lives in California. Skiles lives in Wisconsin, Dent and Dail in North Carolina, and Welsh in Pennsylvania.

They begin their recollections of the flight. At one point King asks while Skiles is telling the story: Did you feel like you were being attacked?

Skiles says “I’m sure the birds didn’t intend that.”

UPDATE: A passenger, Emma Sophina from Australia wrote a song inspired by the splashdown and she sang it at the end has signed a record deal.

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