Pilot in New York plane crash a Denison native

Captain C.B. "Sully" Sullenburger
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NEW YORK ― A U.S. Airways plane crash-landed Thursday afternoon in the Hudson River, and amazingly, no one was seriously injured. The pilot, who is being called a hero by many, is a Denison High School graduate.

Captain C.B. "Sully" Sullenburger is being hailed by survivors as a hero. Friends tell us Sullenburger is a Denison native, who graduated in the late 1960s from Denison High School.

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Authorities say Sullenburger was piloting the Airbus A-320, which had just taken off from LaGuardia airport in New York when he reported hitting several birds right after takeoff. CNN reports the plane lost power to both engines.

"The plane went down, there was an explosion on the plane, we had to make an emergency landing in the water, they did a phenomenal job getting everybody out," one passenger said.

We're told Sullenburger instructed the passengers to brace for impact before the aircraft glided on to the Hudson River.

All 155 people on board got off the plane safely, and only 28 reported injuries.

Josh Stevenson brings us more on the hometown hero who prevented what could have been a horrible tragedy.

"Its a miracle that they all got out alive and such a blessing."

When Beth Bowlin saw the news about the plane crash landing in New York, she had no idea that she had a connection to the accident.

"I've known him since he was a little boy, I knew his parents," Bowlin said.

That little boy grew up to be a fighter pilot and eventually an airline pilot. And Thursday, Captain C.B. "Sully" Sullenburger is being credited as the hero of Flight 1549. Captain Sullenburger went to Denison High School before attending the Air Force Academy.

Dr. Henry Scott was a principal at Denison High School when Chesley Burnet Sullenburger was a student and remembers him well.

"Burnet was a fine young man and I do remember he was an outstanding student," Scott said.

All 155 passengers aboard the plane survived the crash and many say those lives were saved by the skill of the pilot. Denison residents can be proud of a hometown boy that made good.

"I think it makes you proud and makes you feel like we did some things right when he was in school here," Scott said.

And Bowlin says no one would be prouder than Captain Sullenburger's parents.
"His dad and his mom would be so proud of him," Bowlin said.

Captain Sullenburger's father was a longtime dentist in Denison, and his mother, a schoolteacher at Golden Rule Elementary.

Sullenburger now reportedly lives in Danville, California, and describes himself in an online professional profile as a 29-year employee of US Airways--but passengers on board Flight 1549 describe him as "phenomenal."



 
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