Wife: Sully Is A "Pilot's Pilot"

In this image taken from the website of Safety Reliability Methods, Inc., US Airways pilot Chesley B. Sullenberger III is shown. An official speaking on condition of anonymity because the investigation was still ongoing, identified Sullenberger as the pilot of US Airways Flight 1549, which crash landed in the Hudson River in New York on Jan. 15, 2009, as Chelsey B. Sullenberger III. AP PHOTO

The wife of the pilot who safely landed a crippled jetliner in the Hudson River says her husband is a "a pilot's pilot" who "loves the art of the airplane."

Lorrie Sullenberger also says it's "a little weird" to hear the country calling him a hero.

Sullenberger and her two daughters spoke outside their California home Friday morning a day after pilot Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger III guided a US Airways jetliner to a safe landing in New York.

She said when her two daughters went to sleep Thursday night, "I could hear them talking, `Is this weird or what?"'

But for one of Flight 1549's survivor's, there was nothing weird about Sullenberger's actions.

Bill Elkin, appearing on CBS' The Early Show Friday said he sat next to the pilot on a raft during the evacuation. "He was amazingly calm," said Elkin.

"I said, 'You're my hero.'"

And the accolades continue to roll in for Sullenberger. New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg has a key to the city that will eventually go to the pilot.

Sullenberg couldn't appear at Friday's City Hall ceremony because of the investigation.

Says Bloomberg, who is himself a pilot: "The plane didn't break up because of the way the pilot landed it."

National Transportation Safety Board investigators will now focus on recovering the black box from the plane and interviewing the crew about the accident - apparently caused by birds that slammed into the plane's two engines. The Airbus A320, built in 1999, was tethered to a pier on the tip of Lower Manhattan on Friday morning. Only a gray wing tip could be seen jutting out of the water near a Lower Manhattan sea wall. About a block away, it was business as usual as residents jogged or headed to work.

"We want to get the plane recovered as soon as possible but we want to do it a safe way," safety board spokeswoman Kitty Higgins said.

Higgins said one challenge will be hauling the plane out of the water without causing it to break apart.

KPIX had exclusive video with Capt. Sullenberger's wife. Watch below.



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