Sully, EAA Help GMA’s Robin Roberts Live Her Dream
Robin Roberts and Sully Sullenberger pictured with an AT-6 advanced trainer like the one Robert’s father trained as a Tuskegee Airman. Photo: Phil Bray/ABC
May 4, 2010 — Robin Roberts, ABC’s Good Morning America co-anchor, always wanted to follow in the footsteps of her late father, who was a Tuskegee Airman during World War II. She got her opportunity recently by flying with one of the world’s most recognized pilots, Capt. Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger, of US Airways flight 1549 fame, the Miracle on the Hudson flight of January 15, 2009. Sully and Flight 1549 First Officer Jeff Skiles are co-chairmen of EAA’s Young Eagles program.
GMA’s “Living the Dream” segment aired on Tuesday morning featuring Roberts in the right seat of a Beechcraft King Air with Sully at the controls during a recent flight over San Francisco.
“I hope I get my license someday, I really do,” she told Sully near the flight’s conclusion, who responded, “As much as you enjoy it, you really should.”
Immediately after the taped segment aired, Roberts received a surprise phone call from Sully live on the air, who did some legwork to facilitate her dream of flight.
“Through my friends at EAA, which is one of the world’s biggest groups of aviators and aviation enthusiasts, we have arranged for your first flying lesson,” Sully said. She’ll start flight training at Performance Flight, located at the Westchester County Airport, White Plains, NY. Performance Flight President and CEO Lewis Liebert, NAFI 26538/EAA 857534, says Roberts will learn to fly in a Cirrus SR20.
“We intend on providing her with a great initiation to flight training,” said Liebert, who got a call from EAA President/Chairman Tom Poberezny on Sunday (May 2) after Sully reached out for EAA’s help in arranging Roberts’ first flight lesson. Performance Flight, the first flight school to enroll in NAFI’s new group membership, was suggested by NAFI Executive Director Jason Blair.
Before signing off, Sully had words of encouragement for Roberts, “As much as you want to fly, you need to fly.”
She replied, “I do, I do. After being in the cockpit with you, that sealed the deal for me.
“I hope to go flying with you again once I have my license.”