New York, Sept.27 (ANI): Passengers of a Delta 4951 flight that made a miraculous safe landing at New York's John F Kennedy Airport compared their icy calm pilot Sunday to Captain Chesley (Sully) Sullenberger, who landed his plane safely on the Hudson River in January 2009.
Navy veteran Jack Conroyd, 55, is being hailed for saving 64 lives by effortlessly landing his crippled jetliner Saturday with its right wheel jammed in the up position.
"He was our 'Capt. Sully,'" said passenger John Predham, referring to Sullenberger, the US Airways pilot who landed in the Hudson River in January 2009, saving all 155 aboard.
Predham added: "I can't wait to see him receive all of the credit he deserves."
Their bosses at Atlantic Southeast Airlines, citing the ongoing investigation into the episode, kept Conroyd and his 33-year-old co-pilot, Larkin Newby, under tight wraps. But passengers aboard the Bombardier CRJ 900 twin-engine jet were effusive.
"The pilot was tremendous. He was great, nothing better," the New York Daily News quoted passenger David Freda of New Milford, Connecticut, as saying.
After the plane had safely landed and the passengers disembarked, Conroyd was greeted with wild applause on the runway. He thanked the passengers for their patience.
Conroyd's family said his actions were completely in character.
"I am very grateful that he did what was right. It was a blessing from God that he was able to make a perfect landing in a difficult situation," said Shelly Conroyd, his wife of 19 years, at their home in Lake Mary, Fla. "That tells me I have a very special man."
His 84-year-old mom, Hazel Conroyd, said simply, "To me, he is a hero." (ANI)