Everyone is still amazed at how the crew of US Airways Flight 1549 managed to act so calmly when the plane splash landed into the Hudson River on January 15. Which is why Katie Couric's interview with pilot Chesley Sullenberg, co-pilot Jeffrey Skiles, and flight attendants Donna Dent, Sheila Dail and Doreen Welsh on 60 Minutes this Sunday is a much-anticipated opportunity to hear what was going through their minds.
Sullenberger may sound collected in this air traffic control recording, but Couric previewed a bit of her chat with Sullenberger on CBS Evening News with a clip of him saying, "It was the worst sickening, pit-of-your-stomach, falling-through-the-floor feeling I've ever felt in my life. I knew immediately it was very bad."
While the NTSB investigation may take over a year, it seems that Sullenberger's and Skiles's account of a bird strike is substantiated, with a bird feather and "organic material" found in the plane's engines. And Sullenberger had this to say about the first responders—the NY Waterway ferry crews, NYPD, FDNY and others who helped: "Thank you seems totally inadequate. I have a debt of gratitude that I fear I may never be able to repay."