The Daily Show: Capt Sullenberger

October 14, 2009

Flight 1549 appearances/videos/posts
Book Review
Capt Sullenberger reads from his book

Capt Sullenberger made stops at the Today Show and The Daily Show with Jon Stewart yesterday to push his book.

Highest Duty: My Search for What Really Matters

cowritten with JEFF ZASLOW

Vodpod videos no longer available.

View video on The Daily Show website

[hand transcribed]

Captain Sullenberger:

I’m surprised it’s lasted so long. I’m surprised by the enormity of the response that we’ve received around the world.

It’s one of the reasons I wrote the book – is to answer the question for myself: What was it about this remarkable event that made people feel the way they do about the event and about me and the crew?

I think the answer has to be that people were looking for good news; they needed to find a reason to feel hopeful again; they wanted to be reassured that good was still possible to be done in the world.

I think it was life-affirming. I think it reminded them of the potential for good that exists in each of us.

Did you think at all – ohmigod, The Daily Show tapes there?


You were able to hold it together knowing that I was maybe a block and a half away.

I was cool like that.

Mentions that training and his temperament helped him to remains calm.

I had a great partner that day. Jeff Skiles could not have been better staying on task, not being distracted, not being worried about step-by-step solving the next problem with me.

[US Airways, as a cost containment issue, removed the tabs on the manual, making it even harder for Skiles.]

How crazy is that?

It’s one of those minor things [laughter] that by itself might not make a big difference. Part of what we do is manage risk and we look for ways to make the system better. I think that would make the system better if we put the tabs back on.

Using his expertise – as a call to purpose.

It’s an amazing opportunity.

People’s gift to us of their gratitude enables us to have amazing opportunities, to have a greater voice, and to make a difference.

Within the first few days after we landed in the Hudson, Jeff Skiles and I felt an intense obligation to do as much good as we could, in every way that we could, for as long as we could while attention was focused on us.

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