On January 15, 2009, the world watched in horror and amazement as US Airways Flight 1549 made an emergency landing in the frigid waters of the Hudson River. All 155 passengers and crew survived. But how much of the movie Sully, starring Tom Hanks, was accurate?
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The movie’s depiction of the events leading up to the crash
The 2016 movie Sully, starring Tom Hanks, tells the story of US Airways Flight 1549 and the miracle landing on the Hudson River. But how accurate is the film?
The movie’s depiction of the events leading up to the crash are fairly accurate, according to pilot Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger. However, there are some key differences between the events as they actually happened and how they’re portrayed in the film.
For example, in the movie, Sully makes the decision to land on the Hudson River after multiple failed attempts to reach a nearby airport. In reality, Sully says he decided to land on the river almost immediately after realizing that both of the plane’s engines had failed.
Another difference is that in the movie, only one passenger is shown to have died as a result of the crash. In reality, five passengers died due to drowning or injuries sustained during evacuations.
Overall, while the movie may not be completely accurate, it still gives audiences a thrilling and inspiring story of heroism and survival.
The crash itself
The movie starts with the crash itself. It shows the plane hitting the water and then quickly sinking. The movie makes it look like the plane sank very quickly, but in reality, it took about four minutes for the plane to sink.
After the plane hits the water, you see the passengers starting to panic. In the movie, it seems like there is a lot of chaos and confusion, but according to eyewitnesses, everyone was very calm. There was no screaming or crying, and people were helping each other put on their life jackets.
You also see in the movie that Sully tries to open the door of the cockpit, but it won’t open. In reality, he didn’t even try to open the door – he knew that it wouldn’t open because of the pressure from the water.
The aftermath of the crash
The aftermath of the crash was anything but serene. In reality, the Hudson River was very cold and the survivors were in danger of hypothermia. They were also at risk of being pulled under by the currents or being struck by passing boats.
The movie does a good job of depicting the confusion and chaos that followed the crash. However, it glosses over some of the more harrowing details. For example, in the movie, Sully is able to make a call to his wife shortly after the crash. In reality, he didn’t have his phone with him and wasn’t able to call her until he got to shore.
Overall, the movie is a relatively accurate portrayal of the events surrounding the Miracle on the Hudson.
The investigation into the cause of the crash
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) launched an investigation into the cause of the crash. The NTSB interviewed witnesses, analyzed the damage to the aircraft, reviewed flight data and cockpit voice recordings, and inspected the engines. The NTSB also reviewed Sullenberger’s training records and US Airways’ maintenance records for the aircraft.
The heroes of the story
The heroes of the story are Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger (played by Tom Hanks) and his co-pilot Jeff Skiles (played by Aaron Eckhart). They are the pilots who safely landed US Airways Flight 1549 in New York’s Hudson River after it struck a flock of birds and lost both engines. All 155 people on board survived.
The villains of the story
The movie Sully was released in 2016 and was based on the real-life story of Captain Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger, who famously landed a US Airways plane on the Hudson River in 2009. The movie was generally well-received, but there were some criticisms leveled at it for taking liberties with the facts.
One area where the movie strayed from the truth was in its portrayal of the villains of the story. In the film, NTSB investigators are portrayed as heartless bureaucrats who are more concerned with finding someone to blame for the accident than they are with understanding what actually happened. In reality, the NTSB is an independent agency that is charged with investigating accidents and making recommendations to prevent future accidents from happening. The investigators who worked on the Sully case were professional and thorough, and they ultimately determined that Captain Sullenberger did a remarkable job in landing the plane safely.
The role of luck in the story
While the story of US Airways Flight 1549 is an amazing tale of heroism, it’s important to remember that luck played a role in the outcome. The film does a good job of portraying this, but it’s worth delving a little deeper into the role that luck played.
First, let’s look at the timeline of events. The birdstrike happened at a time when the plane was still relatively close to the airport. This meant that there was less time to make a decision and take action. If the birdstrike had happened just a few minutes later, it’s very likely that the plane would not have been able to reach any safe landing spot.
Second, Captain Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger was an experienced pilot with over 40 years of flying experience. This meant that he was well-prepared to handle an emergency situation like this. Not all pilots would have been able to make such quick and decisive decisions in such a high-pressure situation.
Finally, luck played a role in the fact that there were no injuries or fatalities on the plane. This is truly miraculous, and it’s something that could not have been guaranteed no matter how well-trained the pilot or crew was.
So while Sully’s skill and experience were certainly impressive, it’s important to remember that luck played a part in this story as well.
The film’s treatment of the NTSB investigation
One of the more controversial aspects of the film Sully is the way in which it treated the National Transportation Safety Board’s (NTSB) investigation into the “miracle on the Hudson” incident.
While the NTSB is shown to ultimately clear Captain Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger (played by Tom Hanks) and First Officer Jeffrey Skiles (played by Aaron Eckhart) of any wrongdoing, the film suggests that there was more uncertainty surrounding the decision than what actually occurred in reality.
This has led some to accuse the film of unfairly depicting the NTSB as an organization that is more concerned with exacting punishment than finding the truth.
The film’s depiction of Captain Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger
While the film was factual in its depiction of Captain Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger’s heroic water landing on the Hudson River, moviegoers should be aware that some events were dramatized for the sake of entertainment. According to those who know him best, Sullenberger was not the hot-headed, impatient character that Tom Hanks portrayed onscreen. Rather, he was a level-headed, collected individual who never lost his cool under pressure.
Some critics have also pointed out that the film’s portrayal of NTSB investigators was unfair. In reality, the NTSB is comprised of highly trained professionals who are only trying to do their job by getting to the bottom of what caused the accident. They are not out to get anyone, as the film might suggest.
All in all, while Sully is a feel-good movie that celebrates human heroism, it is important to remember that it is still a Hollywood production and therefore not entirely accurate.
The film’s overall accuracy
The movie was reasonably accurate in depicting the events of US Airways Flight 1549. The cast did a great job at recreating the events and it was overall a good film. However, there were some inaccuracies. The biggest one being that the plane did not land in the Hudson River. It actually landed in a field in New Jersey.