Sullenberger plans a return to US Airways in an expanded role

Washington DC
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US Airways today announced that Captain Chesley Sullenberger will soon return to work for the airline as member of the carrier's flight operations safety management team in addition to his piloting duties.

Sullenberger piloted the 15 January emergency water landing of a US Airways Airbus A320 into the Hudson River in New York City, drawing media acclaim.

While Sullenberger says the ensuing months have been full, with he and his family having unforgettable experiences, "I have missed working with my colleagues at US Airways and I am eager to get back into the cockpit in the months ahead. In my new role, I will continue to be the same kind of advocate for aviation safety that I have been for decades."

Sullenberger has also used his time in the limelight to highlight decreasing salaries for airline workers in the eight years since the September 2001 terrorist attacks. During a Congressional hearing in February of this year he stressed that through the bankruptcies and mergers following the attacks, "management teams who have used airline employees as an ATM have left the people who work for airlines in the United States with extreme economic difficulties".

At that time he also warned that many pilots split their time between piloting and other alternative careers or businesses to "maintain a middle class standard of living".

Sullenberger expressed concern those conditions were driving talent away from piloting stating: "When my company offered pilots who had been laid off the chance to return to work, 60% refused."

US Airways, meanwhile, says it will issue additional information about Sullenberger's return to flight once the details are confirmed.