The pilot who safely ditched a jetliner in New York’s Hudson River said Tuesday that pay and benefit cuts are driving experienced pilots from careers in the cockpit.
US Airways pilot Chesley ‘Sully’ Sullenberger told the House aviation subcommittee that his pay has been cut 40 percent in recent years and his pension has been terminated and replaced with a promise ‘worth pennies on the dollar’ from the federally created Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. These cuts followed a wave of airline bankruptcies after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks compounded by the current recession, he said.
‘The bankruptcies were used to by some as a fishing expedition to get what they could not get in normal times,’ Sullenberger said of the airlines. He said the problems began with the deregulation of the industry in the 1970s.