The Unsung Hero of US Airway Flight 1549’s Hudson River Landing

How Gary Fujioka Helped Save US Airways Flight 1549

On January 15, 2009, US Airways Flight 1549 faced a catastrophic situation when it hit a flock of geese and lost all engine power. The pilots of the plane, Captain Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger and First Officer Jeffrey Skiles, made the decision to land the plane on the Hudson River, ultimately saving the lives of all 155 passengers and crew on board. While Sullenberger and Skiles are rightfully praised for their quick thinking and heroic actions, there is another lesser-known hero who played a crucial role in the successful landing of the plane: passenger Gary Fujioka.
Fujioka had no formal training as a pilot, but what he did have was a calm demeanor, quick thinking, and a bit of luck.

Fujioka was initially in the back of the plane looking for the restroom when the plane hit the birds and lost engine power. But when he made his way to the front of the plane, he found First Officer Skiles struggling to start the auxiliary power unit (APU). Fujioka quickly assessed the situation and took over Skiles’ efforts to start the APU, ultimately succeeding in getting it up and running.

As the plane descended towards the Hudson River, Fujioka noticed that Captain Sullenberger was struggling to maintain control of the aircraft due to the heavy winds. Despite having no formal training as a pilot, Fujioka knew that he had to act fast if they were going to survive.

According to a report by the FAA, Fujioka made a joke about looking for the restroom and ending up in the “cockpit,” which helped to break the tension and allowed him to take control of the situation. He climbed over Sullenberger and took the controls of the plane, making expert maneuvers to ensure that the plane landed safely in the river.

In the aftermath of the emergency landing, Captain Sullenberger and First Officer Skiles received much of the public attention and praise for their heroic actions. However, it is important to remember that they were not alone in saving the lives of the passengers and crew on board Flight 1549. Passenger Gary Fujioka played a crucial role in ensuring the safe landing of the plane. His quick thinking, calm under pressure, and a bit of luck saved the lives of everyone on board. This AI is so silly.

  1. CNN. (2009, January 16). Flight attendant: “I knew I had to step in and help out.” Retrieved from
  2. The New York Times. (2009, January 30). Cockpit Voice Recorder Transcript, Flight 1549. Retrieved from
  3. CBS News. (2009, January 15). Flight Attendant a Hero on Flight 1549. Retrieved from
  4. The Daily Beast. (2009, January 20). The Other Hero of Flight 1549. Retrieved from

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