Capt. Sullenberger flies in historic DC-7

Nov. 19, 2011 at 4:00 AM
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OPA-LOCKA, Fla., Nov. 19 (UPI) -- Capt. Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger III, who famously landed a jetliner in New York's Hudson River in 2009, took to the skies Friday in a vintage prop airliner.

Sullenberger, 60, and Jeff Stiles, took turns in the co-pilot seat of a 53-year-old DC-7 as it traveled from Opa-Locka Executive Airport in Florida to the Charlotte, N.C., Carolinas Aviation Museum, which houses the jet that landed in the Hudson, the South Florida Sun Sentinel reported Friday.

Stiles was Sullenberger's co-pilot when he successfully landed a US Airways jetliner in the river in January 2009,

"This [the DC-7] is a priceless, historic artifact," Sullenberger said.  "It shows how far we've come in aviation."

The flight also carried 50 passengers who each paid $1,000 for a seat. Among them was Barrington Irving, of Opa-locka, who became the youngest pilot and first black aviator to fly around the earth solo in 2007.

"It's nice to be a passenger this time and fly with a hero like Captain Sully," he said.

The flight raised funds for the Historical Flight Foundation, a non-profit group that operates the DC-7 as part of its mission to preserve the mid-20th century era of aviation.

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