History's HEROES? Dated 1951 -

Chesley Sullenberger

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Texas, USA
Born there


  • Landed a plane on a river
  • Saved the lives of 155 people


  • Clever
  • Decisive
  • Determined

Saved 155 people from a plane crash

Chesley Sullenberger is well known for saving 155 people who were on board Flight 1549. His heroic act made him an overnight celebrity.

Chesley was born in Texas on the 23rd January 1951, much to the delight of his parents. From an early age, he was always interested in flying - he had loads of toy planes - and his ambition in life was to become a pilot. Sure enough, in 1965 aged 14 he got his pilot's license and when he finished high school he joined the US Air Force Academy. He was in the Air Force until 1980 and then decided to join a commercial airline, which later became American Airlines.

On the day of the crash, Sullenberger was preparing for another normal flight on Flight 1549. He was flying out of La Guardia Airport when he struck a flock of geese which damaged the plane's engine. he was in contact with the control tower, who said that he only had two options - to turn the plane around and land back on the runway, or to fly to the nearest landing place. He decided that both were too risky, and decided to ditch the plane in the Hudson River, saving all 155 passengers on board. One year after Sullenberger had the crash he retired from his job. His heroic actions didn't go unnoticed, because soon after the incident he received a phnone call from Barack Obama. Chesley still campaigns to increase safety on board planes. He became a household name and a name to be remembered. He is an everyday hero.

Life in Chesley Sullenberger's world

Chesley lived a normal life as an airline pilot.

Was Chesley Sullenberger a Hero?

  • Because he saved the lives of so many people.

Things you might not know about Chesley Sullenberger

He was phoned by Barack Obama.
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