Captain "Sully" returns to VFTB

November 23, 2009 11:51:25 AM PST
Nearly one year after that fateful flight which ended in the Hudson River, the very private Captain Sully Sullenberger opens up about that day, about flying again, and how his career choice has taken a toll on his marriage and family.

About the book, "Highest Duty: My Search for What Really Matters"
Capt. Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger had less than three minutes to plan and execute the stunning water landing hailed around the world as "the miracle on the Hudson." But in HIGHEST DUTY: My Search for What Really Matters, Sully reveals how he'd spent his entire life preparing for those fateful minutes in the cockpit of US Airways Flight 1549, when the actions he and his crew of four took would mean life or death for 155 people.

While Flight 1549 has made Capt. Sullenberger one of the most famous pilots since Charles Lindbergh, this quiet, intensely private man has remained largely a mystery until now. In HIGHEST DUTY (with collaborator Jeffrey Zaslow), Sullenberger looks at his life-from growing up in rural Denison, Texas, to flying jet fighters in the U.S. Air Force to ascending the ranks as a commercial pilot-exploring the people and experiences that have shaped him personally and professionally.

Though he insists he's not a hero, Sully is undeniably an inspiration, who has lived according to a code based on integrity, courage, discipline, passion, and humanity that transcends occupation.

Sully, who knew from the age of five that he wanted to be a pilot, writes about the exhilaration of his first solo flight at age 16, fondly remembering the taciturn crop-dusting pilot who taught him to fly. He candidly describes his father, a complicated and sometimes troubled man, who nevertheless taught his son by example about devotion to family and pride in hard work.

Capt. Sullenberger explains how he forged an unwavering commitment to excellence in the Air Force. Though he was never in combat, the flying was demanding and not without risk. Some of his comrades died during training missions, and he had close calls himself. Sully spells out the vivid lessons he has learned about the dire consequences of a momentary lapse in focus or inadequate preparation-relating those lessons to flight, and to life.

On the personal side, he opens up about the challenges of his 20-year marriage, including infertility. While he writes lovingly about his wife and their two adopted daughters, he admits his career choice has taken a toll on family life. To pursue his passion for flying, he's sacrificed many precious days at home.

Buy the book on Amazon

ABC7 special: Face to Face: Dan Ashley and the Sullenbergers

Book signing

Tuesday, December 1, 2009
12pm noon
Sam's Club
1225 Concord Avenue
Concord, CA

About Capt. Sullenberger:
Capt. Chesley Sullenberger has been flying for more than 42 years, having made his first solo flight from a rural Texas airstrip at age 16. After graduating from the U.S. Air Force Academy and Purdue University, he trained as a fighter pilot and flew the F-4 for five years. He left the Air Force and began working for Pacific Southwest Airlines (which later became US Airways) in 1980. Later, he served as a check airman, training and evaluating pilots, and was an accident investigator for the Air Line Pilots Association. He is the founder of Safety Reliability Methods, Inc., (SRM), a safety and performance consulting firm. Sullenberger lives in Danville, California, with his wife, Lorrie, and their two daughters.

About Jeffrey Zaslow: Jeffrey Zaslow is a Wall Street Journal columnist and, with Randy Pausch, coauthor of the #1 international bestseller The Last Lecture, now translated into 46 languages. He is also the author of the New York Times bestseller The Girls from Ames: A Story of Women and a Forty-Year Friendship. Jeff lives in suburban Detroit with his wife, Sherry, and daughters Jordan, Alex and Eden.


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