Tom Hanks artfully plays Capt. Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger, a veteran pilot who was at the controls of US Airways Flight 1549 on that fateful day in January 2009.
Hundreds of eyewitnesses saw his plane descend on the river, which snakes its way passed bustling Manhattan in New York City. Once it had come to rest, passengers poured out onto the wings as the plane floated downstream.
Boats from both sides of the river converged and evacuated all 154 passengers and crew without loss of life. Sullenberger, an airline safety expert, had done what no other pilot in history had accomplished.
But the decision he made to land in the river instead the airport haunted him. Behind close doors, a formal investigation raised questions about his decisions. Meanwhile he and his family were besieged by the media.
“Over 40 years in the air, but in the end, I’m going to be judged on 208 seconds,” he says at one point in the clip.
The flight started out routinely. Flight 1549 roared down the runway. But seconds after takeoff, it flew through a flock of geese. The birds jammed both engines causing them to lose power.
The plane was only 2,800 feet in the air. No passenger airline had ever lost both engines so low to the ground. Sully had minutes to make critical decisions that would determine his fate and the fate of his passengers and crew.
“No one had ever trained for anything like that,” Hanks says in a voice over.
While the media attention focused on what became known as the “Miracle on the Hundson,” the trailer shows some of the behind-the-scenes travails Sullenberger faced from his own self-doubts and from crash-scene investigators.
“I don’t feel like a hero,” he tells Katie Couric, who makes a screen appearance.
Like most movies where the outcome is already known, the tale will be in the telling. Director Clint Eastwood interweaves the crash sequence throughout the movie.
The film opens in September.
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