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Sully, Skiles and Crew Honored by NASM


NASM Award
(From left) Barb Skiles, Jeff Skiles, Sharon Poberezny, Tom Poberezny, Lorrie Sullenberger, and Sully Sullenberger. Tom and Sharon were guests of Sully and Jeff at the National Air and Space Museum ceremony.

NASM Award
(From left) Jeff Skiles, Tom Poberezny, Harrison Ford, longtime EAA member and former Astronaut Robert "Hoot" Gibson, and Sully Sullenberger.

May 6, 2010 — Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger, Jeff Skiles, and the US Airways Flight 1549 crew were honored last week by the National Air and Space Museum (NASM) for their exceptional performance on January 15, 2009, when their Airbus A320 was forced to ditch in the Hudson River in New York City after a bird strike knocked out both engines.

The Current Achievement Trophy was awarded to Sullenberger, Skiles, and flight attendants Sheila Dail, Donna Dent, and Doreen Welsh. The award read, “This flight crew performed exceptionally Jan. 15, 2009, when their Airbus A320 jetliner became disabled over New York City after flying through a flock of Canada geese…The successful end to US Airways Flight 1549 without fatalities lasted only a few minutes, but this heroic achievement exemplified the value of training, experience and professionalism in commercial aviation.”

EAA President Tom Poberezny, who attended the ceremony with his wife, Sharon, said, “It was a very emotional evening, because this is one of the last times the whole crew will be together on an official basis.”

Upon receiving the award, Sully and Skiles shared their perspectives in terms of the value of experience, teamwork, and training, and the importance of utilizing those qualities under stress. Skiles concluded by expressing his thanks to the entire crew for giving him “The greatest gift of all...the rest of my life.”

Approximately 250 invited guests attended the ceremony, held on the main floor of the NASM on the National Mall in Washington D.C. Joining Poberezny in congratulating the US Airways flight crew were former Young Eagles Chairman Harrison Ford and longtime EAA member and former Astronaut Robert “Hoot” Gibson.

“I would like to ask all EAA members to join me in recognizing and congratulating Sully and Jeff and their fellow crewmembers for the heroism they displayed on that day,” Poberezny added. “We look forward to their leadership of the Young Eagles program as we continue to reach out to youth on a global basis.”
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