The Moment

10|21|09: Minneapolis

It took Captain Chesley Sullenberger less than five minutes to become a hero, from the moment his Airbus A320 hit a flock of geese on Jan. 15 to its safe splashdown in the Hudson. For Captain Timothy Cheney and First Officer Richard Cole, it took an hour and a half of radio silence to become national punching bags. After their Northwest Airlines flight shot past its Minneapolis destination at 37,000 ft., air-traffic controllers feared the worst: A hijacking? A flight-deck catastrophe? After 91 minutes, the pilots resurfaced, saying they'd been absorbed in their laptops, reviewing a new crew schedule. On Oct....

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