C.B. “Sully” Sullenberger, the pilot who successfully dead sticked an Airbus A320 to a safe landing on New York’s Hudson River in 2009 after hitting a flock of geese, said late last week that he would step down as U.S. envoy to the Montreal-based International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), effective this Friday (July 1).
Sullenberger, who was confirmed in December as U.S ambassador to ICAO, said in a statement that “relinquishing my role” was not an easy decision. He did not offer a reason for his resignation after just six months on the job, but said, “My departure from ICAO will not end my determination to use my voice as an ardent advocate for the safety of everyone who flies.”
Since his retirement as an airline pilot in 2010, Sullenberger—a former U.S. Air Force fighter pilot who has logged more than 20,000 flight hours—has been serving as a safety spokesman, author, and keynote speaker. “I am deeply committed to aviation safety and security,” he said, adding this commitment predated the 2009 “Miracle on the Hudson” flight and “will remain my focus as I return to private life.”
A nominee to replace Sullenberger at ICAO has not yet been announced.