Capt Sullenberger talks with press after landing in Charlotte

March 3, 2010

Flight 1549 posts
Capt Sullenberger, Doreen Welsh retiring
Doreen Welsh re: retirement
Capt Sullenberger re: retirement
US Airline Pilots Association re: Capt Sully retirement

Capt Sullenberger gets a water cannon salute upon landing in Charlotte.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Press conference after touchdown. He seems angry or impatient or something.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

[hand transcribed]

When did you make the decision to retire?

Quite frankly, prior to Jan. 15, 2009, I was planning to work for the rest of my life. And I’m still not retiring from work. I’m retiring from the airline so I can use my time on other issues of great importance at this moment.

The aviation safety industry.

Yes, and the profession.

Clarify his statement about not leaving the industry better than he found it.

The working conditions – we’re working much harder: more hours per day, more flights per day, more days per week, more days per month. And in terms of fatigue…many flights per day on short flights and long haul flights that might span 15-16 hours were you need multiple crews.

Fatigue is more an issue, and yet we have rest rules that are a genereation old and need to be updated in light of modern science.

What about the flight today?

Mentions First Officer Jeff Skiles and his wife and friends and colleagues who were able to fly with him.

In thirty years of flying, I don’t believe I’ve received better, more efficient and friendly service from the air traffic controllers than I did today. It was definitely noticed. The word must have been passed. We were greeted with every frequency change.

What was it like having Flight 1549 passengers on the flight?

Well, it was sort of coming full circle, wasn’t it. I think many of us are still trying to process this remarkable event from January 15th and put it in persepective. And certainly spending time together and having another amazing opportunity to share a very special day helps in the regard.

What’s next?

I’m very busy. I’m doing public speaking, I have another book I’ve obligated myself to write for my publisher (no title) and we have some work to do in Washington to urge our leaders not to lose sight of what really matters and what our priorities must be and how hard we must continue to work to keep on making aviation safer.

And that we can’t rely simply on investments made by previous generations – we must continue to renew our investments, and those must not only in technology, not only in the system in which we operate, but also in people.

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