'He's the man that makes me tea every morning,' says wife of hero pilot who landed plane on Hudson river

To the thousands that gathered holding signs and waving American flags in celebration,  the pilot who safely landed a passenger plane in the Hudson River is a hero.

But to his wife, he is simply 'the man that makes a cup of tea every morning.'

Chesley 'Sully' Sullenberger was given a hero's homecoming, complete with a marching band in the San Francisco suburb where he and his family live.


Hero's homecoming: Chesley Sullenberger and his wife Lorraine greet the crowd in his hometown, Danville, in California

His wife Lorraine Sullenberger said through tears that she was amazed at the warm treatment the family has received but that she was not surprised by her husband's heroism.

She said: 'I have always known him to be an exemplary pilot. I knew what the outcome would be that day because I knew my husband,'

'But mostly for me, he's the man that makes my cup of tea every morning.'


The captain gets a hug from his wife Lorraine Sullenberger

Around 3,000 people gathered in the town square in Danville, California, as Sullenberger was given a key to the city and named an honorary police officer.

The former U.S. Air Force fighter pilot said he was grateful for the outpouring of support since the emergency landing on January 15th, and that he and his crew were only doing their jobs.

He told the crowd: 'Circumstance determined that it was this experienced crew that was scheduled to fly that particular flight on that particular day.'

'But I know I can speak for the entire crew when I tell you we were simply doing the job we were trained to do.'


Show of support: Around 3,000 people turned up to the event to welcome the pilot home

Sullenberger's brief comments were his first since he brought Flight 1549 to an emergency river landing in New York City.

The crash made headlines around the world after all 155 passengers survived with only minor injuries.

Jim and Jane Foreman, of nearby Alamo, came to the event with their daughter and grandchildren.

"He's America's hero," said Jim Foreman. "This doesn't happen all the time, it's very unique. We're just so proud of him."

Sullenberger will give his first media interview to Katie Couric on the CBS show '60 Minutes.' The episode is expected to air Feb. 8.

In one of the most dramatic escape stories in aviation history, the five-strong crew guided the travellers on board through flooding emergency exits and on to the wings.

A fleet of small boats and commuter ferries rushed to the Airbus 320, which was brought down by a bird-strike on both engines.

No comments have so far been submitted. Why not be the first to send us your thoughts, or debate this issue live on our message boards.

We are no longer accepting comments on this article.

Who is this week's top commenter? Find out now