Up Late with Highest Duty: My Search For What Really Matters by Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger

I was lucky enough to meet Mr. Sullenberger at Oshkosh Wisconsin. At EAA the biggest air show/event in the world. He also signed my edition of the book. So I decided to read Highest Duty: My Search For What Really Matters since I meet him.

Aviation Pilot Chesley Sully Sullenberger takes you back to his childhood where he first found his love for flying. He tells you about his journey through life from the small town in Texas to joining the Air Force Academy to being a Commercial Pilot. He tells about the events leading up to January 15, 2009 that prepare him to be successful on that day. Then he allows you to relive that day that he had to make an emergency landing on the Hudson. The day that the world found out his name.

The book is well written. During many events that Sully recounts it just gives you chills from his first four minute fly by himself, to landing on the Hudson. Sully is very aware that he was not fully responsible for saving all of the 155 passengers and crew. He gives much credit to his crew and co-pilot and applauds the ferries that arrived quickly because without all the help he received many people would have lost their lives. I would recommend this book to all Americans to here about a true American hero. This was one of the better books I have read recently and would put up there beside Unbroken.

  • “When passengers were later asked how long they waited for the lifeboats to arrive, some estimated it took fifteen minutes or longer. Actually, the first ferry had arrived in under four minutes. Standing in freezing water, after the trauma of a life threatening emergency, can alter a person’s sense of time.”
  • “When Kelly was very young, she once asked me, What’s the best job in the world? My answer to her was this : It’s the job you would do even if you didn’t have to.”
  • “I’d come a long way from the days of slowly circling Mr. Cook’s field in his Aeronca 7DC propeller plane, barely topping a hundred miles an hour. Now I was being taught skills that would allow me to fly at high speeds in formation, my wings just feet away from the jets on either side of me. And I was sitting on an ejection seat, ready to bail out if my jet became unflappable.”
  • “We all have heard about ordinary people who find themselves in extraordinary situations. They act courageously or responsibly, and their efforts are described as if they opted to act that way on the spur of the moment… I believe many people in those situations actually have made decisions years before.”


Today’s post is by Taylor, a junior at State College Area High School.

Up Late with Highest Duty: My Search For What Really Matters by Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger

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