Thursday, January 15, 2009
Vizhnitz School of Aviation: US Airways Pilot was an Honor Student and Nice Guy.
Chelsey B. "Sully" Sullenberger, the heroic pilot on the US Airways Flight 1549 Airbus who landed deftly in the Hudson River today, was an alumnus of the Vizhnitz School of Aviation (fondly known as VSA) located in Monsey, NY. Sully got his nickname in the late 1980s, during his summers at Camp Agudah when he was captain of the basketball team.
It was the summer of 1989 and 400 campers cheered, "Sully, Sully!" as Chelsey (formerly Cheskel Duvid) slam-dunked the winning basket against the formidable opponent, Camp Mogen Av. When the Head Counselor, Simcha Kaufman congratulated Sully, he told the rising star that since he "flies through the air like an airplane" he is better off becoming a pilot instead of playing for the NBA "with a bunch of anti-Semite monkeys" (according to the Ziditchover School of Zoology's Associate Chairperson, Zanvil Ungarischer, the simian primate species is notoriously not fond of Jews, especially former yeshiva bochurim.)
After receiving his bachelor's in Talmudic law from Lakewood University - "The Harvard of New Jersey," Sully vied for a competitive slot in VSA's class of 2000. Joel Horowitz, Provost of the School of Aviation, and former professor of aeronautics fondly remembers Sully as a "diligent student and overall nice guy."
Sully lives with his wife and ten children in the village of Kiryas Joel in New York, which is home to the Satmar School of Engineering.
Mi Kiamchoo Yisrooel.