Captain Sullenberger re: retirement

March 3, 2010


Flight 1549 posts
Capt Sullenberger, Doreen Welsh retiring

A symbolic last flight. Jeff Skiles and Capt Sullenberger teamed up for their last official US Airways flight today. Flight 1167 from Fort Lauderdale to US Airways’ home base Charlotte Douglas International Airport arrived at 2:48 EST – 17 minutes ahead of schedule. His wife Lorrie and some friends and even some Flight 1549 passengers traveled with Capt Sullenberger on his last flight.

A private ceremony with fellow pilots and other US Airways employees to follow. No word if Doreen Welsh or the other two flight attendants Sheila Dail and Donna Dent will also be in attendance.

This photo says it all.

Capt Sullenberger, Charlotte Douglas International Airport, after his last flight.

(TODD SUMLIN/Charlotte Observer)


Thirty years ago last Thursday, I began my airline career. I have been fortunate to have followed my passion for most of my life, working in a profession I dearly love, side by side with thousands of wonderful colleagues, including the man flying my final flight with me, Jeff Skiles.

Each generation of pilots hopes that they will leave their profession better off than they found it. In spite of the best efforts of thousands of my colleagues, that is not the case today.

Though I am retiring, I will continue to serve as the same kind of advocate I have always been — not only for aviation safety, but for the airline piloting profession. I will work to remind the entire industry — and those who manage and regulate it — that we have a sacred duty to our passengers to do the very best that we know how to do.

What will Capt Sullenberger be doing?

Capt. James Ray, a spokesman for the US Airline Pilots Association, which represents US Airways pilots, said that Sullenberger plans to spend more time with his family in retirement. He will also continue to talk to lawmakers about raising minimum qualifications for pilots and work to lower the maximum number of hours pilots are able to work in a single day.

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