While nothing can fully prepare one for an emergency such as when my crew and I landed Flight 1549 in the Hudson River just over eight years ago, it was a lifetime of experience that we each drew upon to enable us to face that sudden ultimate challenge. I learned to fly just over 50 years ago. The Wright Brothers first flew 114 years ago this December, so I’ve been flying for nearly half of the entire history of aviation. I’ve seen what works and what doesn’t.
I care deeply about being able to fly, about people’s access to aviation, every facet of aviation. Most people don’t know that most of aviation is not commercial airline flying. That’s how most people travel, but in terms of total airplanes and numbers of operations, there’s much more to aviation in this country. There are general aviation flights, military aircraft, flight training, civil air patrol, transport of medical supplies and blood, disaster relief — one needs to look no further than how integral aviation has been in helping people to access parts of the country that were ravaged by natural disaster.