My Newest Thought Regarding Sullenberger, US Air Flight 1549, And Leadership

If time had stopped for Captain Chesley Sullenberger on the day before the emergency landing in the Hudson River, you might have noticed something that's gotten lost in the all the hoopla of this amazing event. Sullenberger was quite disgruntled with the airline industry. Corporate restructuring, cut-backs, and down-sizing had all affected the quality of piloting, in his view. He opposed many of … [Read more...]

The Veil Of The Ordinary

Gave a presentation to a group of master's-level students a couple of days ago. They were in their 20s from what I could tell. My topic with them was US Air Flight 1549, Sullenberger's emergency landing in the Hudson River. I told them something that both you and I need to remember for ourselves. My title for the module is "The Extraordinary Ordinary Day." 155 people took off from an airport … [Read more...]

An Event of Our Own

I like to use the present to reflect on the past. A vastly under-used and under-appreciated approach to history is to speculate on how an event from your life and mine connects back to the past. Let's use US Air Flight 1549 to explain. As you know, it's one of my most popular modules and sessions. The fact that 155 people are aboard an airplane is unique to the 21st century and part of the 20th … [Read more...]

Flight 1549: Sullenberger’s Regret

One of the most provocative moments in my session on Flight 1549 and your leadership is the question about Sullenberger's interaction with passengers during the ill-fated flight. He only speaks to them once while they are airborne. He states, "Brace for impact." In hindsight, Sullenberger has admitted that he regrets his overall silence with the passengers. I've researched the flight very … [Read more...]

Flight 1549 and the Meaning of Two Little Words

"My aircraft," said Chesley Sullenberger at a crucial moment in the drama that was the emergency landing of U.S. Air Flight 1549 in January 2009. These two little words have more meaning than you might think. First of all, they were mandated. In an emergency situation aviation regulations and protocols require the pilot and co-pilot to announce this statement to each other. It's the captain's … [Read more...]