New Film Highlights Hero Pilot’s Running

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In the trailer for Sully that first aired in the summer, Tom Hanks, starring as Captain Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger, goes for a run through Times Square. The real Sully, who in January 2009 made a safe emergency landing of a US Airways A320 Airbus onto the Hudson River, says director Clint Eastwood wanted to emphasize his passion for running in the film.

“It was something Clint liked because it literally keeps the story moving,” Sullenberger said. “I’m no cinematographer, but I think it keeps the viewer engaged with the story.”

Sullenberger started running in 1980 after he left the Air Force as an officer and fighter pilot and was beginning his career as a commercial airline pilot. He said he had never been interested in running races, but at his peak he ran 10 miles a day and rarely took a day off. During his 30-year career with US Airways and its predecessors—Sullenberger retired in 2010—that often meant running in various cities during layovers, and he’d frequently recruit copilots to join him.

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Sully Sullenberger
Sully Sullenberger
Captain "Sully" Sullenberger has been dedicated to the pursuit of safety 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 a safety expert, speaker, and author. He currently serves on the U.S. Department of Transportation's Advisory Committee for Automation in Transportation, and still flies privately.

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