Based on a true story, that I actually remember, this rendition is as good as it gets. In January of 2009, US Airways, Flight 1549, in route to Charlotte Douglas International Airport, lost two engines right after take off from LaGuardia (LGA) Airport at an altitude of only 2,818 feet, because a bird strike. In this case, a flock of Canada Geese flying south flew into the engine of the plane. The goose or bird strike rendered the plane too damaged to make it back to LGA airport or to Teterboro, a nearby airport in New Jersey. The Captain, Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger (Tom Hanks) and his First Officer, Jeff Skiles (Aaron Eckhart) were forced to land in the Hudson River. To make matters worst, an Arctic air mass that engulfed the region caused the coldest temperature of the season. The wind chill was 2 degrees and the water temperature was 41 degrees, raising the risk of “cold shock,” a condition in which people lose the use of their arms and legs, usually drowning within 5 minutes. Because all 155 passengers survived, “Sully” was called a hero and praised for his actions. The Safety Board (NTSB) had other ideas and tried to accuse “Sully” of pilot error. Through Flight Simulators, the NTSB found that “Sully” could have made it to one of the nearby airports without crashing the plane or exposing the passengers to the dangers of the Hudson River.
To find out what follows, I highly recommend that you go to see the movie for answers. This was a really good one. Kudos to Clint Eastwood, who directed “Sully” — he has turned out to be one hell of a director. I enjoyed “Sully” and found the overall performances to be brilliant. As usual, Tom Hanks gave a riveting delivery of his character, complete with PTSD. Charles Porter (Mike O’Malley) was excellent as one of the head NTSB investigators whose performance truly dominated the film.