“It gives them hope. It came at a time during the financial worldwide meltdown and people were quite frankly beginning to question basic goodness of human nature and this kind of reaffirmed our belief in the potential of good that exists in all of us,” he said.
Sullenberger will speak Saturday at a fundraiser for the exhibit. It will be the first time the passengers and crew will be together with the plane since the accident.
“It will feel like a wonderful reunion,” he said. “I think we’ll feel that connection again.”
His speech will include a discussion of the bond that the passengers and crew share.
“We’ll always be joined because of the special bond, and I’m glad the airplane is in Charlotte because that was the destination of the flight,” he said. “We made it to Charlotte and the airplane has now also.”
The museum is raising money toward an exhibit that could cost $2.4 million, said director Shawn Dorsch. Officials say they had collected enough to transport the plane to Charlotte, where Arizona-based US Airways also has a hub.
Sullenberger said the splashdown inspired those involved to make changes. He has fought for better flight safety and improved working conditions for pilots.
“For many it’s become an impetus for change, a catalyst for living a more authentic fuller life. For me, it’s given me the ability to be an advocate of important things,” he said.
Sullenberger was recently named an aviation and safety expert for CBS News.
“This is a completely different life,” he said. “I was completely anonymous. I had never done any public speaking before in my entire life. Now it’s my main job.”
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