We all know it’s important to do the job right, but sometimes, it can mean the difference between life and death. Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger, III the heroic pilot who landed U.S. Airways Flight 1549 in the Hudson River earlier this year, saving 155 people will serve as keynote speaker during the Opening General Session for NACE and CARS. Sullenberger’s address, scheduled for Thursday, Nov. 5, will focus on how paramount proper installations, proper collision and mechanical repairs, and proper operation of vehicles are to the safety of everyone.
After logging more than 19,000 hours of service as a pilot, Sullenberger became an international hero on Jan. 15, 2009, when he and his crew safely guided U.S. Airways Flight 1549 to an emergency water landing in New York City’s frigid Hudson River. The Airbus A320’s two engines had lost thrust following a bird strike. Sullenberger and his crew have won international acclaim for their actions that day, including the passage of a Congressional resolution recognizing their bravery.
Captain of what has been dubbed the “Miracle on the Hudson,” Sullenberger is an aviation safety expert and accident investigator who also serves as the founder and CEO of Safety Reliability Methods, a consulting company dedicated to management, safety, performance and reliability consulting.
Sullenberger was born and raised in Denison, Texas. After high school, he enrolled at the U.S. Air Force Academy, where he received a Bachelor of Science degree in psychology. In his graduation year at the academy, he received the Outstanding Cadet in Airmanship Award. In addition to his bachelor’s degree, he also has two master’s degrees, one in industrial psychology from Purdue University and one in public administration from the University of Northern Colorado.
Sullenberger served as a fighter pilot for the Air Force from 1975 to 1980 and advanced to become a flight leader and a training officer, attaining the rank of captain. His service in the military stationed him in both North America and Europe.
After serving in the Air Force, Sullenberger became a commercial airline pilot with Pacific Southwest Airlines, which was later acquired by U.S. Airways. He has more than 40 years of flying experience. He has performed accident investigation duties for the Air Force and served as an Air Line Pilots Association representative during a National Transportation Safety Board investigation. Sullenberger was also instrumental in developing and implementing the Crew Resource Management course that’s used by U.S. Airways, a course he has taught to hundreds of other airline members.
Sullenberger is author of “Highest Duty: My Search for What Really Matters.” He was named one of the 2009 TIME 100 world’s most influential people by TIME magazine. He’s married to fitness expert and television personality Lorrie Sullenberger. The couple and their two daughters reside in Danville, Calif.
The upcoming International Autobody Congress & Exposition (NACE) and the Congress of Automotive Repair & Service (CARS) are sponsored by the Automotive Service Association (ASA), co-located at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas, Nov. 4-7 and take place during the second annual Automotive Service & Repair Week (ASRW). Auto Glass Week is also co-located during ASRW and features exhibits, education and competitions for the auto glass professional.