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Chesley B. “Sully” Sullenberger, III

Chesley B. “Sully” Sullenberger, III has been dedicated to the pursuit of safety for his entire adult life. While he is best known for serving as Captain during what has been dubbed the “Miracle on the Hudson,” Sullenberger is an aviation safety expert and accident investigator, serves as a CBS News Aviation and Safety Expert, and is the founder and chief executive officer of Safety Reliability Methods, Inc., a company dedicated to management, safety, performance, and reliability consulting.

Born and raised in Denison, Texas, Sullenberger pursued his childhood love of aviation at the United States Air Force Academy. In his graduation year at the academy, he received the Outstanding Cadet in Airmanship Award. In addition to his bachelor’s degree in psychology, 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. He also has an honorary Doctorate of Letters from Purdue University.

Upon graduation from the Academy, Sullenberger served as a fighter pilot for the United States Air Force from 1975 to 1980. He advanced to become a flight leader and a training officer, attaining the rank of captain. During his active duty, he was stationed in North America and Europe. After serving in the Air Force, Sullenberger became an airline pilot with Pacific Southwest Airlines, later acquired by US Airways, until his retirement in March 2010.

Prior to gaining worldwide attention, Sullenberger was an active and ardent safety advocate throughout his four-decade-long career. He was selected to perform accident investigation duties for the United States Air Force, and served as an Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) representative during a National Transportation Safety Board investigation. Additionally, Sullenberger served as a Local Air Safety Chairman for ALPA, and was a member of one of their national technical committees, where he contributed to the creation of a Federal Aviation Administration Advisory Circular. He was also instrumental in developing and implementing the Crew Resource Management course used by US Airways, and he has taught the course to hundreds of other airline crewmembers.

After logging more than 20,000 hours of flight time Sullenberger became internationally renowned on January 15, 2009 when he and his crew safely guided US 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 received international acclaim for their actions that day, including the passage of a Congressional resolution recognizing their bravery. Sullenberger was ranked second in Time’s “Top 100 Most Influential Heroes and Icons of 2009” and was awarded the French Legion of Honor.

Since his retirement from US Airways, Sullenberger was named co-chairman of the EAA Young Eagles — a program that inspires and educates youth about aviation. He has become the New York Times best-selling author of “Highest Duty: My Search for What Really Matters” and also wrote “Making a Difference: Stories of Vision and Courage from America’s Leaders.” He is an international lecturer and keynote speaker at educational institutions, corporations and non-profit organizations about the importance of aviation and patient safety, crisis management, life-long preparation, leadership, and living a life of integrity. In collaboration with DuPont Sustainable Solutions, Sullenberger developed and was featured in a multi-award winning video training program, Miracle on the Hudson: Prepare for Safety, which helps employees increase their commitment to safety and transform their organizations’ safety culture. The programs are ideally suited to put Sullenberger’s expertise in safety and knowledge of high performance systems improvement to work saving lives, saving money, and bringing value to communities.

Sullenberger is married to fitness expert and television personality Lorrie Sullenberger. The couple and their two daughters reside in Danville, CA.

JEANRICHARD’s partnership with Captain Sully

In February 2013, Captain Sully partnered with the acclaimed Swiss watchmaker JEANRICHARD for its “Philosophy of Life” campaign. JEANRICHARD’s partnership with Captain Sully is founded on the authentic synergy between the brand’s core philosophy and dedication to those driven to do extraordinary things. While on one hand people will say that time is money, JEANRICHARD says that time is the art of living a philosophy of life. Sully embodies this philosophy through his dedication to the pursuit of safety and raising awareness about important issues. To view his blog about this partnership, click the following link: http://www.jeanrichard.com/en/news/capt-sully-s-blog-113/108/

A consummate leader, Sully shares timeless management principles — including his credo of “leadership by personal example” — and the lessons from his life which prepared him to handle the unprecedented crisis presented by the “Miracle on the Hudson.” A 40-year accomplished pilot, instructor and aviation safety expert with over 20,000 flight hours, he discusses with audiences how education, teamwork, preparation and creating a culture of safety can improve any organization. Sully’s sound decision-making ability and strong personal commitment to improving an industry have helped him to emerge as a model by which others measure success. To inquire about Sully’s availability for speaking engagements, please contact the Washington Speakers Bureau at speaking@sullysullenberger.com or click here for more information.

From his early career as a fighter pilot in the U.S. Air Force, to his ongoing work in commercial aviation as a pilot and safety trainer, Sully’s life-long pursuit of learning and investing in himself shows the importance of education and preparedness, and illustrates that true leaders must always lead by example. Straightforward and humble, Sully’s story shows the positive outcomes of having a daily devotion to duty. Sully will challenge and inspire teams to establish a foundation of passion for their work, build trust in each other, and commit to always reaching for the highest standards.

Topics Include: Change – Managing/Leading It , Courage, Disaster Preparedness, Education, Inspiring Lives , Leadership, Motivation, Overcoming Obstacles and Challenges, Peak Performance, Personal Growth, Risk Management and Teamwork.

Aviation and medicine are both high-stakes professions with little margin for error. While aircraft accidents produce mass casualties that capture our attention, medical accidents occur one by one at a rate of nearly 200,000 per year, a mortality rate that would shut down the airline industry. Drawing from his 43-year career as a pilot and safety expert, Sully discusses how the lessons learned by the aviation industry can be applied to improving the safety, quality and cost of health care. As uncertainty looms with new health care regulations being put into place over the next decade that likely will link reimbursements to quality of care and outcomes, Sullenberger successfully demonstrates the importance of effective leadership, the necessity of understanding the science of safety and the vital need for all health care institutions to build a robust culture of safety that improves outcomes and saves lives.

Topics Include: Business Growth/Strategy/Trends, Change – Managing/Leading It , Innovation, Leadership, Overcoming Obstacles and Challenges, Peak Performance, Risk Management, Science , Patient Safety


Sully Sullenberger is the founder and chief executive officer of Safety Reliability Methods, Inc. (SRM), a company dedicated to management, safety, performance, and reliability consulting. SRM’s expert analysis will identify ways to greatly improve safety, performance and reliability and will strengthen your bottom line. SRM’s approach can be applied to business, government, aviation, health care and other fields. SRM has the expertise and experience to improve your operations and enhance your opportunities for success.

Safety Reliability Methods, Inc. provides a wide variety of management and technical consulting services to private sector and public sector clients. These services range from analyses and assessments to comprehensive programs addressing critical needs at many levels. Our services include:

  • Analysis/Assessment
  • Risk Evaluation
  • Strategic Vision/Mission
  • Executive/Leadership Enhancement
  • Targeted Training Development and Implementation
  • Team Coaching
  • Transition to High Reliability Organization

For more information, or to schedule an appointment, please go to www.safetyreliability.com or email consulting@sullysullenberger.com

Face The Nation – Flashback: The Miracle on the Hudson. View More >
Captain Sully Reflects on His Miracle Landing
Captain Sully Meets the Babies of Flight 1549
Iraq War Vet Calls Sully His Hero
Fight and Flight: Sully’s Miracle on the Hudson Four years later, Captain “Sully” Sullenberger reflects on his act of heroism. View More >
Sullenberger two years after Hudson ‘miracle’ Saturday marks the two year anniversary of the “Miracle on the Hudson.” View More >
Miracle on the Hudson The passengers of Flight 1549 were soaked and freezing, but they were also alive. View More >
Hudson River Plane Crash Pilot: “Obvious to me…this was a critical situation.” “Brace for impact.” The right man, in the right place, at the right time. We should all try to be just a little more like this man. View More >
Captain Sullenberger & wife interviewed on the View From The Bay 2.18.09 Hero pilot Captain Sully and his wife, finally back home share their moving story and how their lives have changed. View More >
Captain Sullenberger’s Moment Flight 1549 Captain Chesley Sullenberger spoke with Maggie Rodriguez and Harry Smith about the moments before he landed the airplane safely in the Hudson River. View More >
Realistic Optimism: An Interview with Captain Chesley Sullenberger III View More >
Chesley Sullenberger aims to do as much good as he can while the attention is focused on him. View More >
Sully Sullenberger talked about his book Highest Duty: My Search for What Really Matters. View More >
Captain Sully Sullenberger reads an excerpt from his new book “Highest Duty” about flight 1549 from his home. View More >
US Airways Capt. Chesley ‘Sully’ Sullenberger talks with HLN’s Mike Galanos about his emergency landing in the Hudson. View More >
Back-to-back bird strikes prompt new call to address danger View More >
Captain Sullenberger ‘Big Question’ Is Why Plane Was Flying Over War Zone View More >
CBS This Morning – Report: Pilots Too Dependent on Automated Systems View More >
Capt. Sully on CBS This Morning discussing Missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 View More >
Sullenberger remembers “Miracle on the Hudson” on eve of 5-year anniversary View More >
CBS News- Sullenberger: “Pilots Must Always Be Mentally Engaged” View More >
Pilots need more training, less dependance on automation, expected report says View More >
Sully speaks about FAA reducing rest rulesView More >
Capt. Sullenberger: Pilot fatigue a worldwide, under-reported problemView More >
Boeing 787: New Dreamliner has growing pains View More >
Airlines’ reported pilot shortage real or trumped up? Capt. Sully responds on CBS This Morning View More >
  • New radar system helps pilots avoid turbulence View More>
  • Air France 447: Final report on what brought airliner down View More>
  • ‘Miracle on the Hudson’ Pilot: Leadership Is About Making a Difference View More>
  • Sullenberger on Air France Flight 447 crash View More>
  • Sullenberger on lessons of Air France crash View More>
  • Captain Sully on “Miracle on the Hudson” plane’s move to museum View More>
  • Sullenberger: “Miracle” plane a part of history View More>
  • Capt. Sully on hand for airbus arrival in N.C. View More>
  • Study: Long commutes could fatigue airline pilots View More>
  • Capt. Sully on tarmac safety View More>
  • Sullenberger pans garbage station near LaGuardia View More>
  • Study: Pilots rusty because of automation View More>
  • Captain Sully Sullenberger remembers 9/11 View More>
  • NASA Aviation Safety Reporting System reached its milestone 1 millionth report. It’s one of the many behind-the-scenes reasons that air travel is so safe. View More>
Should Ukrainian airspace have been closed? View More >
Capt. Sully joined Scott Pelley on CBS Evening News to talk about the search for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 View More >
Capt. Sully talking with Charlie Rose, Gayle King and Norah O’Donnell of CBS This Morning regarding latest updates on Malaysia Flight 370. View More >
Capt. Sully on CBS This Morning Continuing Discussions on Missing Malaysia Flight 370 View More >
Capt. Sully talks with Tom Sullivan on Fox News about the importance of pilot experience View More >
  • On the Road: Sully and his miracle plane View More>
  • Airplane merger causing training issues for pilots View More>
  • Capt. Sully weighs in on FAA pilot fatigue rules View More>
  • Strong winds slam airline’s cost-cutting View More>
  • Is using devices on planes really dangerous? View More>
  • FAA proposes new rules for co-pilots View More>
  • “Sully” on diverted JetBlue flight 191 View More>
  • Woman, 80, lands plane after husband pilot dies View More>
  • Sully weighs in on Delta emergency landing View More>
  • Birds striking planes up five-fold since 1990; Sullenberger calls experience key View More>
Chesley B. “Sully” Sullenberger appearance on CBS “The Doctors”. View More >
Chesley B. “Sully” Sullenberger: Patient Safety Starts with an Aligned Crew View More >
Chesley B. “Sully” Sullenberger: Making Safety a Core Business Function View More > | PDF
Captain ‘Sully’ Sullenberger and Johns Hopkins Tackle Patient Safety View More >
SULLY ON SAFETY “Winging it” is not enough View More >
Joris explains CRM in the PICU @UMCN View More >
Capt. Sullenberger visits UCSF for grand rounds and discusses why fostering a culture of safety is paramount in both medicine and aviation. View More >
Huffington Post Blog on TED Weekend by Dr. Brian Goldman talking with Capt. Sullenberger about the importance of implementing a safety culture patterned after the one adopted long ago by the airline industry. View More >
5 Questions: Capt. Chesley ‘Sully’ Sullenberger on applying lessons of airline safety to health-care practices View More >
What Went Right: Lessons for the Intensivist From the Crew of US Airways Flight 1549 View More >
A 30 minute podcast interview by Paul Costello, communications director at the Stanford Medical School about lessons learned from aviation that involve patient safety. View More >
The Boy Who Wanted to Fly View More >
An Infection, Unnoticed, Turns Unstoppable View More >
Sully Sullenberger’s latest mission is to make hospitals safe — In wake of death of Rory Staunton, Sully seeks major changes View More >
Successful leadership requires integrity, compassion Captain Chesley Sullenberger told an audience of healthcare financial managers at HFMA’s ANI conference in Las Vegas on Monday. View More >
Sully inspires and presses for action Captain Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger was the guest of honor at a “Patient Safety Leadership Roundtable” hosted at MIT by a great group of people* from the Boston area. View More >
Surfing the Healthcare Tsunami: Bring Your Best Board™ They include stories, such as that of movie actor Dennis Quaid’s newborn twins’ near-fatal medical error, as a way of engaging audiences to become aware of the great role model organizations that are making care safe. View More >
We have an NTSB for aviation safety, why not for healthcare? View More >
Sully challenges health execs on safety View More >
Making the Business Case for Safety View More>
HFMA President Joe Fifer: Preparing for Value-Based Models Still Critical View More>
Sully challenges health execs on safety View More>
Capt. Sullenberger visits with children at the St. Jude hospital, who in his mind are the real heroes. View More >
Animal Rescue Foundation Honors ‘Sully’ View More >
Sully’s five all-time favorite books for Biography.com’s “Celebrity Summer Reading Series”. View More >
Sully talks with USA Today about Turbulence View More >
Conversation With Sully Sullenberger (on AARP) View More >
Avoid common air travel problems View More >
‘Miracle on Hudson’ pilot to address Nova Southeastern graduates; 1,400 to earn degrees View More >
Captain Sullenberger To Be Honored At Santa Monica American Red Cross Gala View More >
Capt. Sullenberger On Anderson Cooper 360 discussing the search for Malaysia Airlines and a pilots top 3 priorities during a flight. View More >
Capt. Sully appears on BBC Newsnight to discuss various investigation tactics of the missing Malaysia Flight 370: View More >
Wall Street Journal – A Tired Pilot is a Tired Pilot, Regardless of the Plane View More >
Forbes – Captain ‘Sully’ Sullenberger and Johns Hopkins Tackle Patient Safety View More >
CNN Piers Morgan Show – Capt. Sully on Jet Blue Canceled Flight View More >
“Barbara Boxer” on KTVU-SF (FOX) – San Francisco, CA View More >
Asiana Points To Possible Malfunction As Factor In SFO Crash View More >
The following interview as it appears on the August 23, 2013 online posting of RebeccaCosta.com. View More >
Sully Sullenberger appears on CNN to comment on Asiana Flight 214 crash landing. View More >
Capt. Sullenberger: Water, shifting winds make SFO a “special” airport View More >
Asiana Airlines flight: What could have gone wrong? View More >
Boeing 777 has strong safety record, experts say View More >
What My Father Taught Me: Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger – Popular Mechanics View More >
Sully Sullenberger on CNBC’s “Off the Cuff” – 5/27/13 View More >
Solar plane completes test run ahead of history-making trip View More >
Captain ‘Sully’ Sullenberger Makes First Appearance As Swiss Luxury Watch Ambassador View More >
Capt. Sully featured in Success Magazine offering tips for holiday travel. View More >
Capt. Sully talks about best practices for handling sick passengers on a flight View More >
I’m a Runner: “Sully” Sullenberger The pilot and hero explains how running is like flying. View More >
Conde Nast Traveler Blog: What would Capt. Sully do if a plane were struck by lightning? View More >
Conde Nast Traveler Blog: What would Capt. Sully do if passengers were behaving badly? View More >
Conde Nast Traveler Blog: Capt. Sully talks leadership, bird strikes and one thing he would like to change about air travel. View More >


Upcoming events will be listed here.

  • Sully believes deeply in giving back to the community. Sully and his wife Lorrie are longtime, active advocates on behalf of several community organizations, including St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Guide Dogs for the Blind, Tony La Russa’s Animal Rescue Foundation, EAA Young Eagles and the George Mark Children’s House. The attention surrounding Flight 1549, says Sully, has given him “an extraordinary opportunity to help others in a much larger way.” To contact Sully on behalf of your organization, please email name and type of organization, contact information and a specific request to info@sullysullenberger.com.

    St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital

    St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, founded by the late entertainer Danny Thomas, is one of the world’s premier centers for the research and treatment of pediatric cancer and other catastrophic childhood diseases. St. Jude is the first and only pediatric cancer center to be designated as a Comprehensive Cancer Center by the National Cancer Institute. St. Jude is the only pediatric cancer research center where families never pay for treatments that are not covered by insurance. No child is denied treatment because of a family’s inability to pay.
  • Guide Dogs for the Blind

    Guide Dogs for the Blind was established in 1942 to assist veterans blinded in WWII. Today, GDB offers its life-long services free-of-charge to thousands of people throughout the United States and Canada. Its staff, volunteers and supporters are inspired by the vision: “We use our power of partnering to improve quality of life.” The organization depends on private donations and receives no government funding.

    Tony La Russa’s Animal Rescue Foundation

    Tony La Russa’s Animal Rescue Foundation (ARF) saves the lives of countless animals each year whose time has run out in public shelters and who are scheduled to be killed. ARF’s team of trained volunteers and expert staff make sure every animal receives proper nutrition, medical evaluation and treatment, training and lots of love as they await their new forever home. ARF’s shelter touches the lives of thousands of animals and people each year.

  • EAA Young Eagles

    The EAA Young Eagles program was launched in 1992 to give interested young people, ages 8 – 17, an opportunity to go flying in a general aviation airplane. These flights are offered free of charge and are made possible through the generosity of EAA member volunteers. Since 1992, more than 1.6 million Young Eagles have enjoyed a flight through the program. Young Eagles have been registered in more than 90 different countries and have been flown by more than 42,000 volunteer pilots.

    George Mark Children’s House

    The first free-standing pediatric palliative care facility in the U.S. that provides an important addition to the continuum of care for children with life-limiting illnesses; enhancing quality of life for the entire family by offering medical, emotional, spiritual and respite support in a home-like setting that is full of life and activity regardless of ability to pay, race, religion, sexual orientation, national origin, or socioeconomic status.

  • Kiddie Hawk Air Academy

    The Kiddie Hawk Air Academy is a non-profit, 501 (c) (3) organization dedicated to introducing, educating, and sparking children’s interest in aviation. The Kiddie Hawk Trainers give children ages 4-9 a sense of flight, albeit only a few feet off the ground. It is the mission of the Kiddie Hawk Air Academy to give children the “spark” they need to help create the next generation of aviators and aviation Legends, while teaching them the importance of academic excellence to reach their aviation dreams. Our volunteers travel to schools, camps, museums, hospitals and aviation events where they have children interact with the Trainer, airplane components, models and speak to them about basic concepts in flight and aviation careers. For more information go to http://kiddiehawkairacademy.org/



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please contact speaking@sullysullenberger.com or
call 703.684.0555

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please contact consulting@sullysullenberger.com or
call 916.447.4099

Harry Abrams   |   Abrams Artists Agency
(310) 859-0625   |   harry.abrams@abramsart.com

Stories of Vision & Courage - Captain Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger, New York Times bestselling author of Highest Duty.