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Captain 'Sully' Marks Two Year Anniversary of Hudson Miracle

By DNAinfo Staff on January 15, 2011 2:20pm  | Updated on January 16, 2011 9:55am

Capt. Chesley
Capt. Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger spoke to AP on the two-year anniversary of his heroic landing on the Hudson River.
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AP Photo/Frank Franklin II

By Olivia Scheck

DNAinfo Reporter/Producer

MANHATTAN —Two years after his heroic landing on the Hudson River, Captain Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger remembered the day that changed his life Saturday.

“It was shocking,” Sullenberger, who had been piloting a U.S. Airways flight from LaGuardia Airport on Jan. 15, 2009, when a flock of geese took out both of the plane’s engines, told the Associated Press.

“It was the challenge of a lifetime for all of us onboard.”

Sullenberger managed to land the Airbus A320, carrying 155 passengers, safely on top of the Hudson River, marking the first time that an emergency water landing was made with no deaths aboard..

The now retired airline pilot has since recounted his inspiring experience in a book, called “Highest Duty: My Search for What Really Matters,” for which he reportedly optioned the movie rights.

Survivors of Flight 1549 stood on the wings of the plane as they waited to be rescued.
Survivors of Flight 1549 stood on the wings of the plane as they waited to be rescued.
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AP Photo/Steven Day

In the interview with AP, Sullenberger reflected on why the landing is considered such a prominent moment in recent American history.

“It happened at a time in the world’s history when we needed…good news, we needed a reason to feel hopeful,” Sullenberger explained.

“It made people see when we get together and we have our values straight what we can accomplish.”

This time last year, the survivors of Flight 1549 gathered at the site of the miraculous landing to celebrate the one-year anniversary.

They were planning smaller, more private gatherings Saturday.