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Keynote Presentation

17 Jeff SkilesLessons from the Miracle on the Hudson

Jeff Skiles
Thursday, Feb. 23, 8:00 – 9:40 a.m.

When you’re a pilot and both your engines fail over the largest city in America, you must act quickly and independently. But you must also trust in the system that has trained you and prepared you to handle such critical moments. Jeff Skiles’ story of the “Miracle on the Hudson” would not have the perfect ending if not for the years of training and preparation that allowed the two pilots involved to understand exactly what the other was doing – thus maximizing their time, communication and effectiveness. Having only met each other three days earlier, Skiles and Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger were able to work together as a team because they trusted in their system and the training and professionalism of everyone involved, from the air-traffic controllers to their crew. As he takes audiences through the nearly catastrophic events leading up to US Airways Flight 1549’s emergency landing on the Hudson River, Skiles delivers the key lessons and principles that made the flight crew prepared, calm and confident so they could successfully land the plane – and that will help you manage potential crisis situations too.

About the Keynote Speaker

The son of two pilots, Jeff Skiles started flying at the age of 16 and has logged more than 21,000 hours in the sky. Skiles has spent the last 30 years as a US Airways pilot, and his lifetime of experiences contributed to the astounding outcome that has been called “The Miracle on the Hudson,” but there was no miracle about it. The safe landing was the result of intense training, preparation, teamwork, organization and the lessons learned from other pilots’ successes and failures. Skiles believes that life changes all around you, and if you can’t adapt and change with it, you can’t succeed. He attributes the success of the emergency landing on the Hudson to the extensive training that all members of a flight crew experienced. From the mechanics and the maintenance workers to the people who write the emergency protocols and the flight attendants, he believes that every level of the US Airways organization is responsible for the outcome on January 15, 2009. While he and Captain Chesley Sullenberger piloted the plane to a safe landing, the success was a group effort representing the contributions of an entire organization.


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