Co-Pilot Jeff Skiles Lands in Denton for Celebration

This year’s keynote speaker for Celebration is Jeff Skiles, co-pilot of US Airways Flight 1549! Jeff will be speaking about the teamwork dynamic between him and Captain Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger when they realized what needed to be done to save US Airways Flight 1549, “Miracle on the Hudson.” This aligns perfectly with the theme of this year’s Celebration: “Working Together – Making a Difference.”

The Story

  The story of the flight’s emergency landing was portrayed in the movie “Sully,” which appeared in theaters last September; it truly is an amazing story:

On a bright, 20-degree afternoon in January, US Airways Flight 1549 accelerated down New York La Guardia Airport’s main runway, loaded with 155 passengers and crew, headed skywards for Charlotte, NC. Everything was normal until First Officer Jeff Skiles spotted a formation of Canada geese almost directly ahead. In a matter of seconds, he heard numerous thunks as the birds impacted the aircraft. Both engines immediately failed.

Captain Chesley Sullenberger took over flying the plane and lowered the nose down to retain airspeed. Within seconds, the pilots made the decision that returning to LaGuardia was simply not possible—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—New York’s Hudson River. Every single passenger on board survived the water landing!

Jeff's Bio

  The son of two pilots, Skiles started flying at the age of 16 and has logged over 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. The perfect landing was not a fluke; it was the result of intense training, preparation, and the lessons learned from other pilots’ successes and failures!

At Celebration, Jeff Skiles will detail the lessons, training, and scenarios that led to the “Miracle on the Hudson” and what businesses can take away from it. With Jeff’s great sense of humor and natural storytelling ability, it is sure to be a thoroughly fun and enjoyable evening!

Celebration Details

  Celebration will take place on Saturday, April 8, 2017, at 6:00 p.m. in our Priscilla Sanders Events Center located at 1980 E. University Dr., Denton, TX 76209. Tickets are on sale now HERE. We can’t wait to see you there!

For more information about Serve Denton’s Fifth-Annual Celebration, contact Resource Development Program Manager Annie Day at