Pilot recalls splashdown on Hudson

DANVILLE, Calif. — Two years after the "Miracle on the Hudson," Capt. Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger says he's developed an even deeper appreciation for the lifesaving event.

"As time has gone by, I have become able to appreciate more the enormity of what happened that day and what didn't happen that day for all of us," he told The Associated Press this week at his Northern California home.

Saturday was the second anniversary of the splashdown, when Sullenberger and first officer Jeff Skiles ditched US Airways Flight 1549 into the frigid waters off Manhattan after the jet hit a flock of geese.

All 155 passengers and crew members were safely rescued, and Sullenberger became a hero in an event that captured the world's imagination.

The 59-year-old Danville pilot retired from Arizona-based airline last year and is writing a book about leadership to follow "Highest Duty," a memoir of his life and the events surrounding Flight 1549. He also has become a sought-after speaker and a consultant on aviation safety.

The Republican Party asked Sullenberger to run for Congress last year, but he declined.

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