Synopses & Reviews
On January 15, 2009, the world witnessed one of the most remarkable emergency landings in aviation history when Captain Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger skillfully glided US Airways Flight 1549 onto the surface of the Hudson River, saving the lives of all 155 aboard. His cool actions not only averted tragedy but made him a hero and an inspiration worldwide. To Sullenberger, a calm, steady pilot with forty years of flying experience who is also a safety consulting expert, the landing was not a miracle but rather the result of years of practice and training-wisdom he gained in the cockpit of U.S. Air Force jets and in his Texas boyhood.
Born to a World War II veteran and dentist father and an elementary school teacher mother, Sully fell in love with planes early. He learned to fly as an eager 16-year-old from a crop duster, an older neighbor in north Texas, who took off and landed his fragile plane on the grass field behind his house. While Sully′s father encouraged his interest in flying, he also imparted stern advice he′d learned from his Navy service during World War II: a commander is responsible for everyone in his care-and those words have shaped Sully′s life and work and continue to guide him today.
HIGHEST DUTY reveals the important lessons Sully learned through childhood, in his military service, and in his work as a commercial airline pilot. At heart, it is a story of hope and preparedness-that life′s challenges can be met if we′re ready for them-reminding us that, even in these days filled with war, tragedy, and economic uncertainty, there are values still worth fighting for.
A few weeks after the crash, Sully discovered that he′d lost a library book about professional ethics, Just Culture: Balancing Safety and Accountability, in the downed plane′s cargo hold. When he called the library to notify them, they waived the usual fees. Mayor Michael Bloomberg replaced the book when he gave Sully the Key to the City in a New York ceremony.
In this inspirational autobiography, Captain Sully Sullenberger, the airline pilot whose emergency landing on the Hudson River earned the world's admiration, tells his life story and talks about the essential qualities that he believes have been so vital to his success.
In January 2009, the world witnessed one of the most remarkable emergency landings in history when Captain Sullenberger brought a crippled US Airways flight onto the Hudson River, saving the lives of all of the passengers and crew aboard. The successful outcome was the result of effective teamwork, Sully's dedication to airline safety, his belief that a pilot's judgment must go hand-in-hand with--and can never be replaced by--technology, and forty years of careful practice and training.
From his earliest memories of learning to fly as a teenager in a crop duster's single-engine plane in the skies above rural Texas to his years in the United States Air Force at the controls of a powerful F-4 Phantom, Sully describes the experiences that have helped make him a better leader, particularly the importance of taking responsibility for everyone in his care. And he talks about what he believes is at the heart of America's can do spirit: the very human drive to prepare for the unexpected and to meet it with optimism and courage.
His wife, Lorrie, has been a pillar of support through all the highs and lows that life has offered, from the challenges of commercial flying to the birth of their two daughters, from financial struggles to the event of January 15, 2009. Though the world may remember Sully as the hero of Flight 1549, the legacy he desires even more is that of a loving husband and father.
Highest Duty is the intimate story of a man who has grown up to embrace what we think of as quintessential American values--leadership, responsibility, commitment to hard work, and service to others. And it is a narrative that reminds us that cultivating seemingly ordinary virtues can prepare us to perform extraordinary acts.
The inspirational autobiography by one of the most captivating American heroes of the decade, Capt. 'Sully' Sullenbergerwith his thoughts on leadership, responsibility, and service.
“Gripping and genuinely heartwarming.”
—New York Daily News
The inspirational New York Times bestselling autobiography of a true American hero, in Highest Duty Capt. Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger—the pilot who miraculously landed a crippled US Airways Flight 1549 in New Yorks Hudson River, saving the lives of all 155 passengers—shares his thoughts on leadership, responsibility, and service along with his riveting life story. Written with Jeffrey Zaslow, coauthor of The Last Lecture with Randy Pausch, Highest Duty is a remarkable true-life story that the Washington Times says, “Screams to be required reading for all young people, or anybody else who needs confirmation that courage, dignity and extraordinary competence can still be found in this land.”
About the Author
Captain Chesley B. "Sully" Sullenberger III is a retired airline pilot and safety expert from Danville, California, who has become a source of inspiration and hope for millions after his successful emergency water landing of a damaged commercial aircraft on the Hudson River. He was named Outstanding Cadet in Airmanship in his graduating class at the Air Force Academy, holds two masters degrees and a honorary Doctorate of Letters from Purdue University. He has been dedicated to the pursuit of safety for his entire adult life, and has used his knowledge and experience to help improve aviation safety, testifying before Congress about the safety and professional concerns of airline pilots. Sullenberger is a sought after public speaker addressing many worldwide corporations on topics including risk management, personal growth, disaster preparedness, teamwork, courage and motivation. He has also been involved in applying aviation safety methods to patient safety in medicine. Sullenberger serves as the 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.
He believes in fighting for the common man, whether that person is a crewmember or a passenger, and he is that rare breed, someone who quietly and modestly leads by example. His autobiography Highest Duty was a New York Times bestseller.