The museum formerly known as the Carolinas Aviation Museum has a new name: the Sullenberger Aviation Museum.
The name change is in honor of Capt. C.B. “Sully” Sullenberger, who along with copilot Jeff Skiles, ditched US Airways Flight 1549 safely in New York’s Hudson River after losing power in both engines.
On January 15, 2009, flight 1549 was en route from New York La Guardia Airport to Charlotte North Carolina, when at low altitude, the aircraft encountered a flock of birds resulting in a dual loss of engine power. Sullenberger and Skiles put the Airbus 320 down in the river with no loss of life to the 155 souls on board.
Miracle on the Hudson
The 2009 event was dubbed “Miracle on the Hudson” by the media, and both Sullenberger and Skiles became aviation celebrities and made their way around the country doing talks at aviation events on the subject of cockpit resource management and aviation safety.
The Airbus 320 was pulled from the river and installed in the Museum in 2011, as many of the passengers onboard the aircraft that day were Charlotteans on their way from the Big Apple.
Sullenberger, who retired from the airlines and was the U.S. ambassador to International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), visited Renaissance West STEAM Academy in West Charlotte last week. While there, museum leaders and other officials gave an update on the museum’s capital campaign and construction next to Charlotte Douglas International Airport (KCLT).
“The Sullenberger Aviation Museum will be the premier aviation museum of the Southeast and will allow visitors to experience the past, present and future of aviation like never before,” Sullenberger Aviation Museum Board Chair Marc Oken said in a statement. “This reimagined museum will serve as a vital resource to help students and adults connect to careers in STEM-based industries all while showcasing the power and potential of the human imagination through the wonder of flight and transforming lives and economic vitality in the Carolinas.”
Ground breaking on the new 105,000-square-foot facility is slated for September of 2023, with the new facility slated to open at the end of the year.
The museum was first opened in 1992 and over the years has grown into an educational resource and innovation center offering science, technology, engineering, and math applications to local schools.