Chesley Sullenberger is the pilot who successfully crash-landed his plane in the Hudson River after both engines were lost to goose strikes. His book, Highest Duty: My Search for What Really Matters, is out today.

A while ago he was asked at which point he started praying as the plain went down. He said …

… that he was not praying, but rather, concentrating on how to land the plane safely.

The writeup of his book and the publicity does not talk about god or prayer, despite the fact that this event is constantly being called “The Miracle on the Hudson.”

Simply put, I would like to know if Sully is an atheist, or at least, if god is mentioned at all in this book.

Comments

  1. #1 Sigmund
    October 13, 2009

    He was raised Methodist according to his biography (which also indicates that he was pretty much the ideal pilot to have in that particular situation).
    http://www.answers.com/topic/chesley-sullenberger

  2. #2 Greg Laden
    October 13, 2009

    Yes, and the church tried to take credit for the sucessful crash landing:

    http://www.umc.org/site/apps/nlnet/content3.aspx?c=lwL4KnN1LtH&b=2433457&ct=6768959

    but that does not answer my question.

  3. #3 oku
    October 13, 2009

    Of course that raises the question about how many planes have crashed because the pilots prayed instead of concentrating on how to land the plane safely.

  4. #4 Kitty'sBitch
    October 13, 2009

    He has two Masters degrees?
    That certainly increases the odds.
    This rather unsavory Rabbi wrote an article a while back explaining why Berni Madoff was a hero, while Sully wasn’t. I assumed that he had suspected Sully of being an atheist.
    He figured that he’d try to damage Sully’s reputation just in case. You can’t have people admiring an atheist.
    Dogs and cats living together etc….

  5. #5 Greg Laden
    October 13, 2009

    Sully was in Mensa when he was 12 or so

  6. #6 Badger3k
    October 13, 2009

    So this Rabbi was trying to sully his good name?

  7. #7 peter
    October 13, 2009

    did the church also take credit for putting the birds in the way?

  8. #9 davem
    October 13, 2009

    “He was raised Methodist according to his biography (which also indicates that he was pretty much the ideal pilot to have in that particular situation).”

    That needs explaining… Exactly which part of Methodist philosophy enables one to land a plane in a river?

  9. #10 Azkyroth
    October 13, 2009

    This rather unsavory Rabbi wrote an article a while back explaining why Berni Madoff was a hero

    And decades of honest, decent people, Jewish and not, fighting against anti-Semitic stereotypes cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced.

  10. #11 Geds
    October 13, 2009

    He was raised Methodist according to his biography

    I was raised evangelical according to my biography (it’ll be published any day now, I swear!). It means nothing now…

    That needs explaining… Exactly which part of Methodist philosophy enables one to land a plane in a river?

    I think the parenthetical thought was a non-sequitur…

  11. #12 Robert
    October 13, 2009

    The Airbus pretty much landed itself and survived the water landing the way it was designed to do. They had fully operational electrical and computer systems. Sully gets way too much credit for his role. The airplane automatically flies at the lowest possible speed without stalling. Sully just had to pull back on the side stick which told the aiplane to figure out the correct descent rate and angle of attack. The river was long and wide. Any pilot could have done it.

  12. #13 Andrew
    October 13, 2009

    Any pilot could have done it.

    What a bunch of crap.

  13. #14 Robert
    October 13, 2009

    Bunch of crap? You are an asshole.

    Let’s listen to somebody who knows something:

    “But just the same, I’m rather uneasy at calling them heroes. Nothing they did was easy, but on the whole they did what they had to do, what they were trained to do, and what, we should hope, most other crews would have done in that same situation. I reckon Sullenberger and Skiles would readily admit as much. Not out of false modesty but out of due respect for their colleagues everywhere. It was not heroics that saved the day; it was, to use a word I normally dislike, professionalism.”

    –Patrick Smith, “Ask the Pilot”

  14. #15 Andrew
    October 13, 2009

    You are an asshole.

    You are a poopy-face.

    –Patrick Smith, “Ask the Pilot”

    Never heard of him.

  15. #16 Tom
    October 13, 2009

    “Any pilot could have done it.”

    Yes, that’s what pilots do.

  16. #17 RSG
    October 13, 2009

    I’m a professional pilot, with an Airline Transport Pilot rating in helicopters, and I think the religious issue is irrelevant, other than in the Tunisian incident. If you start praying, you die, as the Tunisian pilot illustrates, along with your crew and passengers. A professional pilot has no time for praying when things go south. What you do, in the words of Bob Hoover (a pretty good pilot IMO) is “If you’re faced with a forced landing, fly the thing as far into the crash as possible.” The adage of “The Lord helps those who helps themselves” applies, and you don’t pray, you concentrate on the task at hand until it’s over or you’re dead.

  17. #18 Sigmund
    October 14, 2009

    “That needs explaining… Exactly which part of Methodist philosophy enables one to land a plane in a river?

    I think the parenthetical thought was a non-sequitur…”

    Yes, I was a little unclear there.
    The two points weren’t meant to be related, merely that it mentions in his biography that he was a methodist when younger. The same biography mentions many aspects about his training and experiences (nothing to do with his earlier religion) that would have been useful in an emergency situation.

  18. #19 joe
    October 14, 2009

    To the guy who said any pilot could have done it ,

    ” Thanks for your magnificent input. You are a legend in your own mind . ”