Brendan’s Letter Essay #5

Brendan McCarthy



Period 2 ILA


Recently, I finished reading Sully, a 354 page book by Chesley B. “Sully” Sullenberger. Chesley Sullenberger is a retired US airways pilot. He is from Denison Texas. He was the pilot of flight 1549. Flight 1549 is famous because Geese flew into the engines and broke all of them, which is a very unlikely occurrence. Chesley Sullenberger had to land the plane into the Hudson river. He saved all 155 people’s lives on board. He is recognized on Time magazine’s top 100 most influential Heroes and Icons. The book was just made into a movie and was in theaters.

The book is not only about him landing on the Hudson.  He tells about numerous stories and life experiences from his life and his job as a pilot.  An example is when he talks about his experience with 9/11. It was very interesting to hear this from the perspective of a pilot. He tells about how almost no one went on flights after it. There were only about 4 people per plane. He received a big pay cut as well. Another topic in the story was his family and how he became a pilot.  He talks about how before he knew everyone survived how he couldn’t think straight, and how even after he knew, not being able to sleep and constantly thinking about it. He kept thinking about if there was anything he could have done better.

The genre of this book is autobiography/memoir.  I know this because whenever the narrator is talking he refers to himself as “I”. Also, this book was written by the pilot of flight 1549, the main part of this book.

The structure of this book is that there is a new story or struggle every chapter. Such as when he talks about 9/11. I really like this format. It keeps you interested but doesn’t bore you. It also lets you finish a chapter then take a break and not forget what was happening because it’s a new topic.

I liked the way the author didn’t make the story just about the miracle on the Hudson, which is only about the last 100 pages. The book would have been really boring if it were just the things that happened before it then the climax, being the flight, then what happened after. Everybody would know the ending then and there would be no point in reading the book.


Finally, I liked this passage in the book. A TV interviewer is asking him what he thinks when people call him a hero. He responds like this: “ I don’t feel like a hero, I’m just a man who was doing his job, the right man for the job at the time. (Page 286)  I liked this quote because I found it very interesting that he was so humble about it. I’m sure a lot of other people would think they are. Also, in the book, he said that he wasn’t thinking about his family or dying, or any terrible thoughts. He was focused on landing the plane safely. He was just going through his checklist.

I rate this book a 10/10 because I really enjoyed reading it.

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