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Page last updated at 17:57 GMT, Thursday, 1 October 2009 18:57 UK

Hudson 'heroes' reunite on flight

Capt Chesley Sullenberger (L) and First Officer Jeffrey Skiles
The pilots had not flown together since the January splashdown

The US pilot and co-pilot who landed a disabled plane in New York's Hudson River in January have flown together for the first time since the incident.

Capt Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger and First Officer Jeffrey Skiles were in charge of a flight from North Carolina to New York City on Thursday.

Their skilful "splashdown" of a US Airways flight on 15 January saved the lives of all 155 passengers on board.

The plane's engines had failed after colliding with a flock of geese.

'Felt safe'

Passengers on board Thursday's flight from Charlotte, North Carolina, to La Guardia airport said they were delighted to be flying with such a trustworthy captain in the cockpit.

"I was overwhelmed when I found out it was him," said Don Lambert, 61, of Fort Mill, South Carolina.

"You feel like you have the best pilot in the world fixing to fly you to New York."

"Everybody cheered and clapped when we got on the plane in Charlotte," said Wyatt Smith, 41, also from Fort Mill.

"I put my seat back and took a nap. I felt really honoured and safe that it was him."

At a news conference in New York after the flight, Mr Sullenberger described the gratitude he had received from passengers as an "extraordinary gift".

This was not Mr Sullenberger's first flight since the Hudson landing.

He captained two passenger flights on 11 September as part of his retraining programme.

But Thursday's flight was his first with Mr Skiles. He is later due to fly out of La Guardia airport for the first time since January's incident.



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Profile: Captain Chesley Sullenberger
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