Pilot ‘Sully,’ air traffic controller to reunite at New York marathon

NEW YORK — The image is miraculous: Passengers standing on the wings of a US Airways jetliner as it floats down the Hudson River.

Pilot Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger and air traffic controller Pat Harten are forever linked by the amazing water landing that saved all 155 passengers and crew after a double-bird strike damaged both engines on Jan. 15, 2009.

Approaching the 10th anniversary of the “Miracle on the Hudson,” Sullenberger and Harten will meet at the finish line of the New York City Marathon. Sullenberger will put the finisher’s medal around Harten’s neck in Central Park on Nov. 4.

“We think the world of Patrick, we’re going to be very honored and excited to be there to cheer him on,” said Sullenberger, who will attend with wife Lorrie. “We worked together seamlessly in one of the most dire situations anyone can imagine to try to save every single life.”

Harten is a second-generation air traffic controller, following the path of his father and 36-year veteran, Patrick Harten Sr. The younger Harten attended air traffic control school in Alaska after earning a degree in chemistry from Stony Brook University.

His father, who ran the 1985 NYC Marathon, introduced him to the sport. They started running together when Harten was 9, and he finished a half-marathon at 10. He’s also competed in three Ironman triathlons — a 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike and 26.2-mile marathon.

He’s training for first NYC Marathon and fifth overall, including two Boston Marathons.

“I’ve got tons of mileage on my legs,” Harten told The Associated Press in a phone interview. “It’s a convergence of two very important aspects of my life — running with my father and you have the whole ‘Miracle of the Hudson.’”

The bond between Harten and Sullenberger was forged on that 19-degree winter day. Flight 1549 left LaGuardia Airport and, shortly after takeoff, a flock of Canadian geese damaged both engines. Sullenberger asked Harten about landing at nearby Teterboro Airport in New Jersey, in case he got thrust back in one of the engines.

“Off to the left he had LaGuardia, off to the right he had Teterboro, further on down the line he had Newark,” Harten said. “I was just basically making sure all options were available for him.”

“It was obvious that he was a real pro,” Sullenberger said in a phone interview with the AP. “You hear the dedication in Patrick’s voice. Trying to get us back to a runway, any runway.”

Sullenberger and first officer Jeff Skiles, who met three days earlier, went through the checklist of possibilities.

“We had to collaborate wordlessly and quickly realized there were only three options,” Sullenberger said. “Two that we could not reach because we just didn’t have enough energy or enough altitude or speed. The only place in the entire New York area that we could make was the river.

“I had to keep the wings exact level, I had to start the landing at the proper height, not too high and not too low to be able to touch the water with the least rate of descent and in the proper slightly nose-up attitude. I had to do a lot of things exactly right in those last few seconds simultaneously.”

Sullenberger and Harten had about four minutes between the bird strike at 3:27 p.m. and ditching into the Hudson River at 3:31 p.m. Sullenberger credits four decades and “thousands of hours” of flight experience for the successful outcome. The first New York Waterway ferry reached the plane in just under four minutes, he said.

“The fact that we, the rescuers and first responders, were all able to come together to rise to the occasion and make it our mission in life to see everyone was saved is something that will define the rest of our lives,” Sullenberger said.

Harten thought all the passengers perished after he lost radar contact when the plane dipped below the New York skyscrapers. Protocol required quickly leaving his position, reviewing the incident and preparing an official statement.

After about 45 minutes, a co-worker in the break room suggested someone should “probably go tell Patty that everyone is OK,” Harten said. “Somebody came down and said to me, ‘I think it looks like everyone made it.’ I thought they were messing with me at first. In my mind, I thought they had all died.

“That was a pretty shocking — definitely a relief — but a pretty shocking thing to hear.”

Sullenberger requested the pilot union’s critical incident response team come to New York and provide survivors with a “road map” of expected symptoms — how the near-death experience would affect their thinking and sleep.

“We all experienced PTSD,” the 67-year-old Sullenberger said. “It took a number of months to work our way through it. But people can be resilient.

“The critical insight for me, personally, was when I realized that I had to make this experience a part of me and not just something that happened to me. I had to be able to somehow integrate that into my psyche. And make it part of what makes me who I am.”

Harten had the support of wife Regina, mother Mary, three siblings and his father.

“My dad could kind of help because he could relate to it more than the average person,” said Harten, who is approaching 20 years as an air traffic controller, working six days a week, up to 10 hours a day.

Running also helped him cope, along with six weeks of therapy.

“I put the treadmill up to 10 mph and I just ran hard and held on for as long as I could,” Harten said. “Whatever mental anguish I was feeling at the time, I’d replace it with physical pain.”

These days, the 44-year-old Harten trains on the boardwalk in Long Beach, New York. He’s recently been slowed by leg cramps, but bikes to maintain his fitness. Whether he can “run a 3:20” or “walk after Mile 2,” Harten says he’ll get to the finish line.

“Running can be very therapeutic and you’re going out there on your own. I don’t listen to head phones. You kind of mentally work through stuff,” he said. “We spend so much time on electronics and we’re always exposed to some kind of entertainment. I don’t think people spend enough time just thinking. Going out for a run is the perfect excuse to do that.”

When he’s not outdoors hiking with his wife, Sullenberger speaks about air safety, talks to veterans about resources for PTSD and advises on design safety for driverless cars.

The U.S. Air Force Academy graduate consulted on the 2016 movie “Sully,” starring Tom Hanks. He wished the investigation scenes were “more nuanced.”

The real passengers and crew will gather for the 10th anniversary at the Carolinas Aviation Museum, home to the reconstructed Airbus A320, in Charlotte, North Carolina.

“I call them the 1549 family,” Harten said. “Sully is like the patriarch of the family. I think I can speak for just about everyone on that flight: He’s the man.”

ad-high_impact_4
News
Melvin Dummar dead at 74
Melvin Dummar has died at 74. Dummar was famous for claiming to have saved Howard Hughes in a Nevada desert in 1967. Dummar claimed to have been left $156 million in Hughes’ will. The will mysteriously appeared after Hughes’ death in 1976. It was dismissed as a fake two years later. Dummar never saw a dime of the billionaire's fortune. Dummar died Saturday in Nye County.
Officer-involved shooting in Nye County
The Nye County Sheriff's Office gives information about a shooting in Pahrump on Thursday night after a man began firing shots outside of his home. (Nye County Sheriff's Office)
Law Enforcement Active Shooter Training Exercise
Multiple Las Vegas Valley law enforcement agencies held an active shooter drill at the Department of Public Safety’s Parole and Probation office on December 6, 2018. Officials set up the training exercise to include multiple active shooters, a barricaded suspect and multiple casualties. (Katelyn Newberg/ Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Public memorial service for Jerry Herbst
Archiving effort hits milestone at Clark County Museum
The Clark County Museum catalogs the final item from the bulk of Route 91 Harvest festival artifacts. (John Przybys/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Pearl Harbor survivor Edward Hall talks about his memories of Dec. 7, 1941
U.S. Army Corps Edward Hall, a 95-year-old survivor of Pearl Harbor talks about his memories of that horrific day. Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal @bizutesfaye
Final Route 91 Harvest festival remembrance objects catalogued at Clark County Museum
The last of the more than 17,000 items left at the makeshift memorial near the Las Vegas sign after the Oct. 1 shootings have been catalogued at the Clark County Museum in Las Vegas. The final item was a black-and-white bumper sticker bearing "#VEGASSTRONG. An additional 200 items currently on display at the museum will be catalogued when the exhibit comes down. (K.M. Cannon Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Dozier execution timeline
Scott Dozier was set to be executed July 11, 2018, at the Ely State Prison. Judge Elizabeth Gonzalez delayed the execution.
Grand Jury Indicts Constable for theft
A Clark County grand jury indicted Henderson Constable Earl Mitchell. A Las Vegas Review-Journal investigation prompted the criminal probe. The newspaper found Mitchell wrote himself thousands in checks, took out cash at ATMs and traveled on county funds. He faces four felony counts of theft and a county of public misconduct. Mitchell and his attorney could not be reached for comment.
93-year-old WWII veteran arrested during visit to VA hospital
Dr. S. Jay Hazan, 93, a World War II veteran, talks about his arrest during his visit to VA hospital on Friday, Nov. 30. (Erik Verduzco Las Vegas Review-Journal @Erik_Verduzco_
Pearl Harbor survivor struggles in her senior years
Winifred Kamen, 77, survived the attack on Pearl Harbor as an infant, works a 100 percent commission telemarketing job to make ends meet. (K.M. Cannon Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas Metropolitan Briefing 18th street gang
Las Vegas Metropolitan briefs the media on the recent arrests made regarding the 18th street gang.
Man shot in Las Vegas traffic stop had knife, police say
Police said the man fatally shot by an officer during a traffic stop in downtown Las Vegas had a “homemade knife.” Demontry Floytra Boyd, 43, died Saturday at University Medical Center from multiple gunshot wounds after officer Paul Bruning, 48, shot him during a traffic stop. Bruning pulled Boyd over on suspicion of driving recklessly at 7:41 a.m. near Sunrise Avenue and 18th Street.
Catahoula dogs rescued from home in Moapa Valley
Catahoula dogs were brought to The Animal Foundation after being rescued from home in Moapa Valley.
Intuitive Forager Kerry Clasby talks about losses in California wildfire
Intuitive Forager Kerry Clasby talks about losses she suffered in California's Woolsey Fire in Malibu in November. (Al Mancini/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Benefit dinner for Kerry Clasby, the Intuitive Forager
Sonia El-Nawal of Rooster Boy Cafe in Las Vegas talks about having a benefit for Kerry Clasby, known as the Intuitive Forager, who suffered losses on her farm in California’s Woolsey Fire in Malibu. (Al Mancini/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Former President George H.W. Bush dies at 94
Former President George H.W. Bush has died at the age of 94. He died Friday night in Houston, about eight months after the death of his wife, Barbara.
Las Vegans Celebrate Big Snowfall
Las Vegans celebrate big snowfall at Lee Canyon.
Exploring old mines for denim jeans and other vintage items
Caden Gould of Genoa, Nev. talks about his experiences looking for vintage denim jeans and other items in old mines and other places areas across Nevada and the west.
Officers share photo of dead gunman after Las Vegas shooting
A little over an hour after SWAT officers entered Stephen Paddock's suite at Mandalay Bay, Las Vegas police officers far from the scene were already sharing cell phone photos of the dead Oct. 1 gunman.
Frontier jet safely returns to Las Vegas after losing engine piece
Frontier jet safely returns to Las Vegas after losing engine piece. (@FlightAlerts_)
Park Service plans ahead for lower lake levels
National Park Service releases new plans to maintain access to the water as Lake Mead continues to shrink.
Women claim abuse at Florence McClure Women's Correctional Facility
Current and ex-inmates, including Merry West, are suing Florence McClure Women’s Correctional Facility, claiming abuse and inadequate medical care. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @rookie__rae
Butte County Sheriff's Office Body Cam Footage
Bodycam video from Butte County (Calif.) Sheriff's Office Deputy Aaron Parmley, who was in Paradise November 8 helping with evacuations. (Butte County Sheriff's Office)
NDOT construction blasting along State Route 106
NDOT construction blasting along State Route 160, near Mt. Potosi Road, in Clark County as part of a $59 million, 6-mile-long highway widening project that began this summer. (Nevada Department of Transportation)
Car crashes into Papa Murphy's Pizza shop
A driver crashed a car into a western Las Vegas Valley pizza shop on Tuesday morning, police said. (Joe Stanhibel/Special to Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Low-lake-level pumping station nears completion
Barnard Construction and the Southern Nevada Water Authority give one last tour before the new low-lake-level pumping station is activated.
Trailer: Valley of Fires
Sultan’s Playroom from Make-A-Wish Southern Nevada
Make-A-Wish Southern Nevada’s Scott Rosenzweig talks about granting Sultan Bouras Souissi’s wish, and what went into building it. (John Hornberg/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Jim Marsh brings historic replica of rural church to Amargosa Valley
Jim Marsh talks during the opening of the Chapel at Longstreet, a replica of an 1874 Catholic church built in the mining town of Belmont, Nev., at Marsh's Longstreet Casino in Amargosa Valley, Nev. Chase Stevens/ Las Vegas Review-Journal
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
ad-infeed_1
ads_infeed_2
Local Spotlight
Add Event
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like