Miracle on the Hudson co-pilot in D.C. for inauguration - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Miracle on the Hudson co-pilot in D.C. for inauguration


OREGON (WKOW) -- The co-pilot involved in last week's crash into the Hudson River is in Washington, D.C. for Barack Obama's inauguration.

Jeff Skiles' parents tell 27 News that Skiles and his wife, Barb, received a presidential invitation to the event, as did the rest of Flight 1549's crew.  

Flight captain Chesley Sullenberger responded to a strike from a flock of birds and resulting engine failures last week by splash landing the plane, with the crew and all 155 passengers rescued.

Skiles' mother, Deloris Skiles, also a pilot, said her son returned home to Oregon Sunday night, but left soon thereafter for the inauguration.

"It's a momentous occasion,"  Deloris Skiles told 27 News.   "He'll enjoy himself, and take his mind off the forced landing.   He's very happy that he's going."

Family members said after the airbus went into the water, Jeff Skiles handed life preservers to passengers as they stood on the downed plane's wing, waiting for rescue.

Skiles said her son was still drained from the experience when he returned home.   Skiles told 27 News she understands how her son's actions are considered heroic, but said it's consistent with his work ethic.

"I know my son, I know he's a very professional, responsible pilot,"  Skiles told 27 News.  

"He did his job."

The crew members have said they're thankful for the overwhelming support they've received, and said they will make public statements, but will wait until the National Transportation Safety Board's investigation is complete.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report)


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