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From Fighters to River Landing Hero: The pilot of US Airways Flight 1549, who landed the Airbus jet on the Hudson River Thursday, saving the 155 people on board, is a former Air Force fighter pilot and graduate of the Air Force Academy. According to a profile on the Website for the safety consulting firm he founded, Chesley B. "Sully" Sullenberger flew F-4s during seven years on active duty, from 1973 to 1980, when he started with US Airways. Read more in an Associated Press report.