I went from living my life anonymously for 58 years to being a public figure known globally in a matter of minutes.
In the bad old days, captains were not good leaders. They didn't build teams; they were arrogant and autocratic.
There's simply no substitute for experience in terms of aviation safety.
My message going forward is that I want to remind everyone in the aviation industry - especially those who manage aviation companies and those who regulate aviation - that we owe it to our passengers to keep learning how to do it better.
When I testified before Congress after the Hudson River landing, Congressman James Oberstar of Minnesota said, 'Safety begins in the boardroom.' That's as true in medicine as it is in aviation. It always boils down to leadership.
It's almost an out of body experience to see things that First Officer Jeff Skiles and I said in the cockpit together, played by actors.
If you take one of the first flights out in the morning, typically the airplane and the crew have arrived the night before. When you're not waiting on an inbound flight, there are fewer delays.
Having a plan enabled us to keep our hope alive. Perhaps in a similar fashion, people who are in their own personal crises - a pink slip, a foreclosure - can be reminded that no matter how dire the circumstance, or how little time you have to deal with it, further action is always possible. There's always a way out of even the tightest spot.
After high school in 1969, I was appointed to the Air Force Academy. In '73, I studied for my postgraduate degree and became a USAF pilot in 1974. After my discharge in 1980, I became a commercial pilot and flew my first airline flight at Pacific Southwest Airlines in 1980.
Each generation of pilots hopes that they will leave their profession better off than they found it.
Medical professionals are as skilled and as dedicated as any, but they operate within a fragmented system that has not progressed as far as we have in aviation.
It's an important job to be the public face of something that gives people hope, and I take that seriously.
My mother was a first-grade teacher, so I credit her with this lifelong intellectual curiosity I have, and love of reading and learning.
My father volunteered in early 1941, before Pearl Harbor, and became an officer in the U.S. Navy. As I was growing up, he taught me the responsibility of command: A leader is ultimately responsible for every aspect of the welfare of people under his or her care. That was a deeply felt obligation in his generation.
I'm less shy now than I was as a kid. After Flight 1549, my family and I had to become public figures and more complete versions of ourselves. I had to teach myself to become an effective public speaker.
I think it's become an economic necessity for people to be able to learn and grow throughout their lives, because most people can't get through their entire career with one skill set. We have to keep reinventing ourselves.
I've missed half or two-thirds of my children's lives.