Hero of Hudson Has Local Ties

The pilot who made the miracle landing on a New York river Thursday is a California resident who lived in San Diego.

Capt. Chelsey Sullenberger III lived in San Diego for several years during the 1980s, according to friends who worked with the pilot when he flew for Pacific Southwest Airlines. Sullenberger's actions saved 155 people, including a little baby, from certain death

These days, Sullenberger lives in Danville, Calif.,  in Contra Costa County. Sullenberger, 58, described himself in an online professional profile as a 29-year employee of US Airways. He started his own consulting business, Safety Reliability Methods, two years ago.

Coronado resident David Love has known Sullenberger for nearly 40 years. 

"Both of us went into the Air Force, flew fighters -- F-4's in Sully's case and mine," Love said. 

Love said his friend and former co-worker is one of the best pilots around. 

"Takes his profession and his job as seriously as anybody I know," Love said.

When Love found out Sullenberger had safely landed a US Airways jet on the Hudson River in New York, he wasn't surprised that everyone survived.  "If there's one guy I'd like  to have if my depended on it if something crazy happened, it'd be Sully," Love said.

Sullenberger reportedly stayed inside the plane to make sure everyone got out safely, walking up and down the aisle twice, checking every seat, just to be certain. 

"For him to go back and do that twice is more than anyone would expect of a pilot on the airplane,"Love said.  "But it doesn't surprise me that Sully would do that. Like I say, I know him as a man, and that's the kind of guy he is."

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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