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CBS News adds Capt. Chesley 'Sully' Sullenberger as aviation expert

May 19, 2011 |  2:10 pm

Sully Capt. Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger, the nerves-of-steel airline pilot responsible for the "miracle on the Hudson," joins the CBS News team as an aviation expert.

Sullenberger, who'd had no previous broadcasting experience when he safely landed a stricken Airbus in the frigid Hudson River, became a media sensation after the early 2009 near-disaster. He wrote a book about the experience after giving his first interview to CBS' Katie Couric on "60 Minutes."

In his new TV role, Sullenberger will give analysis of aviation safety and contribute to CBS News broadcasts and platforms across the news division.

"Sully is an American treasure and it is a real thrill to have him on our team at CBS News," said CBS News chairman and "60 Minutes" executive producer Jeff Fager. "I am a huge fan of Sully's. He is a remarkable person who has a great ability to turn his significant experience into useful insights. He will help our viewers better understand the stories involving safety and air travel that seem to pop up all of the time."

Sullenberger, a veteran Air Force fighter pilot who's logged about 20,000 hours in the sky, made an emergency landing in the Hudson after birds flew into and choked the engines of US Airways flight 1549 in January 2009. All 155 crew members and passengers made it out safely.

The media and the public immediately latched onto Sullenberger, whose low-key, graceful-under-pressure demeanor made him an instantly likable heroic figure. He's the author of "Highest Duty: My Search for What Really Matters."

Aviation safety has been a hot topic lately, with air traffic controllers around the country being fired and disciplined for sleeping on the job. Passenger rights continue to make news, as do the cost and risk of air travel.

RELATED:

Capt. Sullenberger details drama of emergency landing

-- T.L. Stanley

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