U.S. House Honors the Heroes of Flight 1549 with Crowley-Led Resolution

January 26, 2009
Press Release

Washington, D.C. —The U.S. House of Representatives unanimously passed today a resolution honoring the heroes of Flight 1549 (H.Res. 84).  This effort was led by Congressman Joseph Crowley (D-Queens, the Bronx) as well as Congressmen Jerry Nadler, Mike McMahon, Jerry McNerney.  On January 15th, 2009, US Airways Flight 1549 made an extraordinary emergency landing into the frigid waters of the Hudson River.  All 155 passengers and crew were evacuated safely thanks to the skilled efforts of the flight crew, members of the U.S. Coast Guard, and other private citizens.  Congressman Crowley released the following statement upon unanimous passage of H.Res. 84:

“The successful landing of U.S. Airways Flights 1549 on Thursday, January 15, 2009 was nothing short of a miracle, and I join my friends and colleagues Congressmen Nadler, McMahon, and McNerney to honor and thank all those who were involved in this rescue and recovery effort.

“Water landings, also referred to as “ditching”, are incredibly difficult and any minor error could cause the landing to end in tragedy.  The tremendous skill of the Captain Chesley B. “Sully” Sullenberger, III, First Officer Jeffrey B. Skiles, and the flight attendants Ms. Donna Dent, Ms. Doreen Welsh, and Ms. Sheila Dail were on display that day as they successfully glided the plane to safety and swiftly evacuated all 155 passengers and crew within minutes of landing.

“Some people call this event “the miracle on the Hudson”. I say this was no miracle; this was skillful flying of two veteran pilots, the quick reaction of highly trained flight attendants, and the responsiveness of coast guard ships, ferries, and private citizens.

“Due to the skill and coordinated efforts by the pilots, crew and first responders on the scene – everyone on that plane is alive today.  We owe a debt of gratitude to the crew of Flight 1549 and all the first responders who helped evacuate passengers.

“These people showed to the world the best of our aviation and first responder systems – I am proud of the heroic actions of everyone involved.

“As the Congressional representative of LaGuardia Airport – where Flight 1549 took off from – I sometimes have to answer the complaints of those who fly through or live by the airport.  Like any airport, LaGuardia experiences delays and produces noise.  But, on January 15th, the crew of Flight 1549 made LaGuardia proud.

“Let us pause today and recognize the heroic efforts of Captain Sullenberger, First Officer Skiles, flight attendants Sheila Dail, Doreen Welsh, and Donna Dent, as well as all the first responders and rescuers.  They deserve our thanks and applause.