March 3, 2010 / 8:05 PM / 9 years ago

New York's "Miracle on Hudson" pilot retires

Capt. Chesley 'Sully' Sullenberger goes through his pre-flight routine before piloting a flight to North Carolina from LaGuardia Airport in New York October 1, 2009. REUTERS/Seth Wenig/Pool

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The pilot who spectacularly landed a crippled U.S. Airways passenger jet in New York’s Hudson River last year is retiring, the airline said on Wednesday.

All 155 passengers and crew aboard Flight 1549 bound for Charlotte, North Carolina, escaped after pilot Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger glided the plane to an emergency landing in the icy river within view of Manhattan skyscrapers.

Sullenberger, 59, was due to fly his last flight on Wednesday with co-pilot Jeff Skiles, who was beside him at the controls during the emergency landing, said the U.S. Airline Pilots Association.

Sullenberger joined U.S. Airways in 1980.

Also retiring was flight attendant Doreen Welsh, who helped guide passengers on the fateful flight to safety. She joined the airline in 1970.

The engines of the Airbus A320 were knocked out when the plane flew into a flock of geese shortly after takeoff from La Guardia Airport on January 15 of last year.

The landing was quickly dubbed “The Miracle on the Hudson.”

Reporting by Michelle Nichols; Editing by Ellen Wulfhorst and Cynthia Osterman

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