Jet University Flight School Information

The Official Publication of the Jet University Student Alumni Association

Captain Chesley Sully Sullenberger Book "Highest Duty"  My Search for What Really Matters

Captain Sullenberger's amazing new book is now out and we had a chance to get a copy.  Every pilot needs to read this book.  Every pilot's wife needs to read this book.  It's and incredible inspirational story of life, hope and challenge. 


This isn't just a book about the water landing of USAir flight 1549 in the Hudson.    It's a book about life.  It's a book about how Captain Sullenberger prepared his whole life to be able to land that plane in the Hudson.  It's also a story about how his life changed that day. 

This was the first set of trips Sully and First Officer Jeffrey Skiles had flown together. Skiles had just upgraded to the Airbus 320 and this was his fourth day flying as a First Officer with passengers on a 320 without a check airman instructor.  But you wouldn't have known it.  The First Officer did his job flawlessly. The training kicked in.



We are told about the flight attendants and how they immediately sprung into action when the Captain gave the brace for impact command.  We see a highly experienced crew operate like an orchestra and not miss a beat.  The training kicked in.


We hear a lot of tidbits. Sully hasn't held anything back.  He mentioned that the POH's don't have tabs on them anymore at USAir.  The airline cut the tabs out to save money.  Of course in this incident seconds did count and it took extra seconds for First Officer Skiles to find the section of the POH that he needed when the engines stopped running.


Sully tells us about his decision of trying to save a 60 million dollar aircraft or the lives of 155 passengers.  His Air Force experience helped make the proper decision. This is life and Sully tells us like it is. 


We can understand his humbleness in having to wear the same wet uniform eight hours after leaving the Hudson because he didn't have anything else to wear and no one thought to bring him anything.


In 1967 at Dennison, Texas, Sully earned his private pilot's license after logging 70 flight hours which happens to be the average number of hours that pilots normally receive their private.  He soloed at 7.5 hours and was given the "solo talk" that many pilots receive on that special day. 

We learn about his mother (a school teacher) and his father (a dentist) and their impromptu trips to Dallas for shopping and Mexican food.   Sully mentions they used to stay at the COMO Motel. 

View Larger Map



As you can see the motel is still in business although  I doubt Sully would be caught dead there today.  Let's just say it's gone downhill a bit.  Maybe the COMO Motel can put "Sully Slept Here" on their marquee.

We learn about Sully's wife, Lorie and her strength in being a pilot's wife.  She rose to the occasion when called upon.   We also learn about their two daughters and the deep love within this family.

We also learn what it's really like to be a pilot.  We hear the concerns from a pilot who has worked for USAirways for 30 years and was knocked out of two bases because they closed.  We hear about the 40% pay cut all USAir pilots had to take to keep the company in business.  We hear about the retirement plan that was lost.  Something is wrong in America when a 30 year employee of a company can't depend upon the retirement that was promised to him.  Fortunately for Sully, he won't have to worry about money anymore, but there are thousands of other pilots from many airlines that have been dealt the same cards. 

Sully happened to be the first pilot that landed a modern airliner in water without any fatalities.  His demonstration of this procedure will be taught in flight training for a very long time.  He proved it was possible.  Because of this remarkable outcome the next pilot that finds himself piloting an airliner with no thrust will have a good chance of repeating this success.   We all have learned something from Captain Sullenberger and that will make us all better pilots.

The 340 page book is $25.99 list.  You can find it discounted at and

We highly recommend this book.  It's an easy read and the fonts and printing are pilot friendly!