Sully, the film focusing on the US Airways Airbus A320's emergency landing in New York, launched in cinemas across the United States on September 9th. But it's only just arrived on screens in France, Belgium and Switzerland. As the film is released in Europe, listen to the pilot in charge of Flight 1549, Captain Chesley Sullenberger.
Director Clint Eastwood worked in close collaboration with the man behind the "Hudson miracle" to make this feature film. In this interview, illustrated by two excerpts from the film, Captain "Sully" recalls the chilling sequence of events on January 15th, 2009, when less than two minutes after taking off from LaGuardia airport, his plane strikes a flock of Canada geese at an altitude of about 2,800 ft, disabling both engines.
The captain tells us what went racing through his head at this critical moment and explains why he made a split second decision to land on the river. "That was the best place to go, that was the least bad option, there was nowhere else in the whole New York metropolitan area that was long enough, wide enough, smooth enough to land an airliner," he explains.
A seasoned pilot with over 20,000 hours of flying time, the US Airways captain also recalls his airline pilot training that failed to prepare him for this type of event. "On our flight simulators at the airline, it's not possible to practice a water-landing, they are not programmed to be able to do it," he explains. His swift decision saved not only his life, but also that of the other 154 people on board.