Almost two years later, that moment will be played out on the big screen in a film adaptation of Sullenberger's memoir, Highest Duty: My Search for What Really Matters, reports Variety.
But the Captain, who had been previously approached by other parties, wasn't originally onboard with a film adaptation – until Harrison Ford, who is also a licensed pilot, stepped in.
Ford recommended producing team Frank Marshall and Kathleen Kennedy, the producers behind the Indiana Jones saga.
"It was my lucky day," Marshall says. "Kathy and I have always been attracted to regular people in extraordinary situations. This guy is a true American hero."
Now that the script is in the works, it's a question of finding the right leading man to wear Sully's wings. Which actor would make his story soar on the big screen?
Sam Worthington: He's already played a Sully before. In Avatar, Worthington played Corporal Jake Sully, who shares the captain's nickname.
William H. Macy: The two-time Emmy Award-winning actor rocks Sully's signature mustache. Enough said.
Richard Jenkins: Aside from his proven penchant for the big screen, Jenkins has experience in roles set against New York City (The Visitor), the backdrop for Sully's story.
Chris Cooper: If his Academy Award-winning performance in Adaptation says anything, it's this: He can do drama and print-film translations – that is what the film is about, after all.