2013 Kickoff Breakfast
NAAA’s Kickoff Breakfast: Miracle on the Hudson
December 9–12, 2013 ♦ Reno, Nev.
The 2013 Kickoff Breakfast is a must-see for everyone attending the convention. You’ll hear from First Officer Jeff Skiles, co-pilot of the “Miracle on the Hudson” U.S. Airways flight.
On Jan. 15, 2009, a bright 20-degree afternoon, U.S. Airways Flight 1549 departed from New York La Guardia Airport for Charlotte, N.C. Everything was normal until Skiles spotted a formation of Canadian geese on the right side of the aircraft, seemingly headed directly towards them. Flying the plane manually, he was relieved when the nose of the plane rose above the geese, but that relief was short-lived.
A few seconds later, he heard four distinct thunks as the birds crashed into the engines of the Airbus A320. Both engines immediately failed and Skiles lost his instrument panel. Captain Chesley Sullenberger took over flying the plane and tipped the nose down to retain airspeed. Within 60 seconds the pilots concluded that returning to La Guardia or diverting to Teterboro or Newark Airports was too risky since they’d have to fly over densely populated areas and there was no guarantee that they’d make it. Surrounded by nothing but skyscrapers and neighborhoods they decided to head to the only open, flat space available—the Hudson River.
Skiles, the son of two pilots, started flying when he was 16 and has logged more than 21,000 hours in the sky to date. Graduating from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a degree in Geology and Geophysics, he followed his first love and embarked on a flying career. He became a flight instructor and worked for several smaller airlines before being hired by U.S. Airways in 1986. He holds an Airline Transport Pilots license and is currently qualified as a captain on five transport category aircraft. Skiles currently works as the vice president of communities and member programs for EAA, a 179,000-member sport pilot organization. He is involved with antique airplanes and owns a 1935 WACO YOC cabin bi-plane, which he flies to air shows and fly-ins over the summer.
Enjoy the breakfast buffet and hear the stories, lessons and scenarios from Skiles’ experiences in the cockpit. His presentation will have you on the edge of your seat.
To attend the Kickoff Breakfast: Tickets for the Kickoff Breakfast and Farewell Banquet are included in the “with banquets” registration package. Anyone with a “without banquets” package can purchase tickets for the 2013 Kickoff Breakfast à la carte.