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tv   60 Minutes  CBS  July 5, 2009 7:00pm-8:00pm EDT

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captioning funded by cbs and ford-- built for the road ahead. >> it was the worst, sickening, pit-of-your-stomach-falling- through-the-floor feeling i've ever felt in my life. i knew immediately it was very bad. >> couric: what happened next is the story the pilot "sully" sullenberger hasn't told until now about how he guided u.s. airways flight 1549 safely into the hudson river. >> i was sure i could do it. >> couric: tonight, you'll also hear from the members of his crew about what it was like inside that plane. ( applause )
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>> couric: and from many of the passengers who got a chance to express their gratitude. >> thank you. thank you for saving my life. >> you did an incredible job. thank you. >> thank you so much. >> you're very welcome. >> kroft: this has been a very good year for you. >> i haven't had a bad year since the doctor slapped me on the ass, you know. >> kroft: in a business that is struggling to survive, bon jovi is still a cash cow. and no one works harder at it-- four to five two-and-a-half-hour shows per week when he's on the road, with only a couple of two- minute breaks to change clothes and cool off before going back on stage. who comes to bon jovi concerts? >> i think it's probably a 60-40 mix of girls to guys. >> kroft: why so many women, do you think? >> they pay me for two things-- singing and shaking my rear end. >> i'm steve kroft. >> i'm lesley stahl. >> i'm scott pelley. >> i'm bob simon. >> i'm morley safer.
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>> i'm katie couric. those stories tonight on "60 minutes." - ( "doorway" playing ) - ♪ i wanna feel you - ( camera clicks ) - ♪ i've gotta shake you off ♪ i watch the doorway ♪ you get right under my skin ♪ ♪ you get right under my skin. ♪ announcer: now there's a phone that truly lives in real time.
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announcer: cialis for daily use or 36-hour cialis. ask your doctor if cialis is right for you, so when the moment is right, you can be ready. >> couric: when u.s. airways flight 1549 landed into new york's hudson river on january 15, what seemed destined to be a tragedy became an extraordinary tale of success and survival. by the time all 155 people were pulled from the icy waters by a flotilla of rescue boats, a story began to emerge of a highly trained pro with a cool demeanor who had deftly guided
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his doomed aircraft to safety. in an instant, captain chesley "sully" sullenberger found himself at the heart of an uplifting news story people all over the world wanted to celebrate. in february, just two weeks later, captain sullenberger gave us his first account of the harrowing five minutes in the sky over new york city. >> captain chesley sullenberger: it was the worst, sickening, pit-of-your-stomach-falling- through-the-floor feeling i've ever felt in my life. i knew immediately it was very bad. >> couric: did you think, "how are we going to get ourselves out of this?" >> sullenberger: no. my initial reaction was one of disbelief. "i can't believe this is happening. this doesn't happen to me." >> couric: what did you mean by that? >> sullenberger: i meant that i had this expectation that my career would be one in which i didn't crash an airplane. >> couric: first responders in new york city expected the worst-- an airbus a320 with 155
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people on board, down in the middle of the frigid hudson river. only five minutes earlier, captain sullenberger had taken off from laguardia airport on a routine flight bound for charlotte, north carolina. >> sullenberger: it was a normal climb out in every regard. and about 90 seconds after takeoff, i noticed there were birds filling the entire windscreen, from top to bottom, left to right-- large birds too close to avoid. >> couric: when did you realize these birds had hit the plane? >> sullenberger: oh, you could hear them as soon as they did. loud thumps. it felt like the airplane being pelted by heavy rain or hail. it sounded like the worst thunderstorm i'd ever heard growing up in texas. it was shocking. >> couric: when did you realize that these birds had seriously damaged the aircraft? >> sullenberger: when i felt, heard and smelled the evidence of them going into the engines. i heard the noises.
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i felt the engine vibrations of the damage being done to the engines. and i smelled what i described at the time, and i still would, as a burned bird smell being brought from the engine area into the conditioning system of the airplane. >> couric: did you realize right away the engines are failing? >> sullenberger: yes, it was obvious to me from the very moment that we lost the thrust that this was a critical situation-- losing thrust on both engines, at a low speed, at a low altitude, over one of the most densely populated areas on the planet. yes, i knew it was a very challenging situation. >> couric: what did the aircraft itself do? >> sullenberger: it was almost a complete loss of forward momentum. the airplane stopped climbing and going forward, and began to rapidly slow down. that's when i had... i knew i had to take control of the airplane. >> couric: how did you do that? >> sullenberger: i put my hand on the side stick and i said-- the protocol for transfer of
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control-- "my aircraft"-- and the first officer, jeff, immediately answered, "your aircraft." >> couric: so you took control of the plane. the engines have stopped working. how do you fly a plane like that? >> sullenberger: you glide it. you use the forward momentum to provide the air flow over the wings to provide sufficient lift. >> couric: what went through your head? >> sullenberger: i knew immediately that this, unlike every other flight i'd had for 42 years, was probably not going to end with the airplane undamaged on a runway. >> couric: the airplane was about 3,000 feet over new york city and descending fast. 30 seconds after the engines failed, captain sullenberger began urgently looking for someplace to land and radioed air traffic control. >> sullenberger: i said, "mayday, mayday, mayday. cactus 1549." hit birds. we lost thrust in both engines. returning back towards laguardia. >> okay, you need to return to laguardia?
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turn left heading about 2-2-0. >> sullenberger: 2-2-0. >> tower, stop your departures. we got an emergency returning. >> couric: but you didn't return to laguardia. >> sullenberger: no, i quickly determined that, due to our distance from laguardia and the distance and altitude required to make the turn back to laguardia, it would be problematic reaching the runway, and trying to make a runway i couldn't quite make could well be catastrophic to everyone on board and persons on the ground. and my next thought was to consider teterboro. what's over to our right? anything in new jersey, maybe teterboro? >> okay, yeah, off to your right side is teterboro airport. do you want to try to go to teterboro? >> sullenberger: yes. >> couric: but it soon became clear he couldn't make it to teterboro, either. >> turn right 2-8-0. you can land runway one at teterboro. >> sullenberger: we can't do it. the only viable alternative, the only level, smooth place sufficiently large to land an
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airliner was the river. >> couric: was it in your sight? >> sullenberger: it was right to my left. >> couric: you contacted air traffic control again, didn't you? >> sullenberger: yes. i said, "we're going in the hudson." >> couric: that decision to go in the hudson was made two and a half minutes into the flight and just one minute after the birds had hit. sullenberger and his co-pilot jeff skiles started preparing to land on the water. what kinds of things did you have to think about or worry about in the process of that? >> sullenberger: as soon as i assumed control of the aircraft, i turned the engine ignition on. so if there was any chance of a re-light, we would have gotten it automatically. the next thing i did was i started the auxiliary power unit, another small jet engine that we used to provide electrical power for the airplane. >> couric: what happened when you all tried to do those things? >> sullenberger: no luck. i mean, i got the a.p. running, i turned the ignition on, but still no usable thrust. we were descending rapidly
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toward the water. >> couric: do you think about the passengers at that moment? >> sullenberger: not specifically. i mean, more abstractly, perhaps. i mean, i knew i had to solve this problem. i knew i had to find a way out of this box i found myself in. >> couric: did you, at any point, pray? >> sullenberger: i would imagine somebody in back was taking care of that for me while i was flying the airplane. >> couric: about 155 people? >> sullenberger: i think... my focus at that point was so intensely on the landing. >> couric: you couldn't think of anything else. >> sullenberger: i thought of nothing else. >> couric: there were just three and a half minutes for captain sullenberger to accomplish what only a few commercial airline pilots had ever done. and he was determined to avoid the fate of this ethiopian airliner, which landed in the indian ocean in 1996 and broke into pieces, killing most of the passengers on board. >> sullenberger: that's what i was trying to avoid. >> couric: what were some of the things you had to do to make
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this landing successful? >> sullenberger: i needed to touch down with the wings exactly level. i needed to touch down with the nose slightly up. i needed to touch down at a... at a descent rate that was survivable. and i needed to touch down just above our minimum flying speed but not below it, and i needed to make all these things happen simultaneously. >> couric: and yet you had to keep your cool. >> sullenberger: right. the physiological reaction i had to this was strong, and i had to force myself to use my training and force calm on the situation. >> couric: was that a hard thing to do? >> sullenberger: no. it just took some concentration. >> couric: did it feel like three and a half minutes? >> sullenberger: yes, it did. >> couric: really? >> sullenberger: really. >> couric: it wasn't in slow motion or... >> sullenberger: i wish it had been. i might've thought about more things on the way down. >> couric: tell me what you saw from the cockpit.
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>> sullenberger: i saw the river ahead of me-- long, wide, with boats at the south end. we were trained to land in the water near other boats to facilitate rescue. that was where the airplane was headed and that was a good place to go. >> couric: 90 seconds before hitting the water, captain sullenberger made an announcement to the passengers and crew. three simple words-- "brace for impact." >> sullenberger: i made the "brace for impact" announcement in the cabin and, immediately, through the hardened cockpit door, i heard the flight attendants begin shouting their commands in response to my command to brace. "heads down. stay down." i could hear them clearly. they were... they were chanting it in unison over and over again to the passengers, to warn them and instruct them. and i felt very comforted by that. i knew immediately that they were on the same page-- that if i could land the airplane, that
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they could get them out safely. >> couric: but there was still a big if. >> sullenberger: i was sure i could do it. >> couric: you were? >> sullenberger: yes. >> couric: there couldn't have been a better man for the job-- a former air force fighter pilot who had spent nearly 30 years flying commercial aircraft, specialized in accident investigations, and instructed flight crews on how to respond to crises in the air. >> sullenberger: i think, in many ways, as it turned out, my entire life up to that moment had been a preparation to handle that particular moment. >> couric: that moment was captured by security cameras at 3:30 pm on january 15. flight 1549 approached the water line and then landed in the river. >> sullenberger: hitting the water is hard, it was a hard landing. and then, we scooted along the surface for some point. and then at some point, the nose finally did come down as the speed decreased, and then we turned slightly to the left and stopped.
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>> couric: when you landed, you and the first officer looked at each other. >> sullenberger: and we said, "well, that wasn't as bad as i thought." and then we quickly began doing our duties. he was running the evacuation checklist while i opened the door and commanded "evacuate." >> couric: did you give yourself even a few seconds, though, to acknowledge that you had averted disaster? >> sullenberger: no, because i hadn't quite yet, and i had business to attend to. i had a job to do. >> couric: what was it like for the rest of the people inside that plane? the entire crew of flight 1549 will tell that part of the story when we come back. >> cbs moneywatch update. >> good evening. vice president joe biden says the obama administration, quote, misread how bad the economy was but he believes the
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stimulus plan will work eventually. gas is $2.62 a gallon, that's about a dollar 50 less than last july 4th weekend and a box office tie between "transformers" and "ice age" i'm russ mitchell, cbs news. @@
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>> couric: the job of evacuating 150 passengers fell to five of the most experienced pilots and flight attendants in the business. the crew of flight 1549 described the tense final minutes, from the time the engines went out until every passenger was back on land. we met the crew inside a u.s. airways hangar in charlotte, north carolina. among them, they have well over 100 years of experience in the air. they are, along with captain sullenberger, first officer jeff skiles, and flight attendants
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donna dent, sheila dail, and doreen welsh, who was seriously injured. this is the first time you all have worn your uniforms since january 15. doreen? you don't have yours on. >> doreen welsh: i just can't put it on yet. my uniform was in shreds, soaking wet. i had a different story in the back of that airplane, and mine was more violent and more... the uniform just went to pieces. i can't explain. i'm just not ready to put it on yet. >> couric: to this day, welsh still hasn't put on her uniform. at the time of the accident, she and the rest of the crew were on the final leg of a four-day trip when the plane lost power. co-pilot jeff skiles was the one who first spotted the birds. when you felt them hit the aircraft, did you know right away what they had done to the engines? >> jeff skiles: both engines went right back to kind of a
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hushed state. and that's probably just about as bad as it gets when you're an airline pilot, to hear that. >> couric: which brings me to you all. did you know what was going on? >> sheila dail: it was so quiet. and donna and i were seated beside each other. she was... she was there, and i was here. and it was so quiet. and i said, "what was that?" and we were... you know, i whispered. and you did say, "maybe a bird strike." >> donna dent: "bird strike." >> couric: what was the sensation inside the cabin after the birds hit the engines? >> welsh: i had some panic in the back. and i got out of my seat and i calmed everyone down. i said, "it's okay." i said, "it's... we might have lost one engine. we'll circle around." and so i thought, well, everything is okay, and then i heard the old "brace for impact." >> couric: what was your reaction to hearing those words? >> welsh: well, terror. sheer terror. >> dail: i thought, "okay, we're going to crash on the... on the runway."
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>> dent: we be... began yelling, "brace. brace. heads down. stay down. brace. brace. heads down. stay down." >> couric: what did the passengers do when you started giving these commands? >> dail: they were not getting in the brace position. they were looking out the window. you know, i... people were just looking to see what was happening. >> couric: were they screaming, crying, praying? was it quiet? >> welsh: people were making cell phone calls in the back. but the most of the people that i could see were in their brace position. and it was so fast. >> couric: let's talk about the moment of impact. doreen, you were sitting in the back of the plane. what was the impact like there? >> welsh: the back of the plane hit first, correct? it was violent, horrible. things flew out. >> couric: meanwhile, at the front of the plane, what was it like there? >> dail: we were thinking that wasn't so bad.
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i mean, it was a hard impact and i... i thought, well, the gear must not have been down because there was no bounce to it. it was just a slam. >> welsh: when i got out of my seat and saw that water, it was the most shocked i've ever been in my life. wasn't expecting that. >> couric: but as soon as you hit, people were getting up, trying to get out? >> dent: they did not try to get out until sully said, "evacuate." >> couric: once the plane landed, what was the scene like inside that cabin? >> dail: i could see that i could open my door because the water... i could see it was lower than the... than the door. so i opened my door and my chute automatically came out. it automatically inflated. it sounds wonderful to hear your chute opening up. and then, they started coming and... and donna was working her door. but there was no pushing and shoving. >> couric: was it a little chaotic? >> dail: no, there was... there
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was nothing said. and there was no eye contact. they were just going. >> couric: but in the back of the plane, it was a very different story. >> welsh: a passenger had come back and pushed past me and opened the door, just enough that the water came flooding in. and i went back twice and tried to re-close it. it would only go so far. it wouldn't stop, and the water was just rising. you know, garbage cans were float, coffee pots were floating, like, at this level. and things were flying. it was crazy back there. >> couric: the impact was so powerful that it tore a hole under the airplane's tail. doreen welsh feared she and some of the passengers would not get out alive as water was pouring into the cabin. >> welsh: by the time i left there, it was here. there was no doubt in my mind it was over. and i just went crazy and started yelling at people and pushing people and getting people to go over the seats. and as i was getting up, i thought, "i might actually
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live." because a second ago, i thought i was gone. so my emotions had gone through, within seconds, accepting death and seeing life. it was unbelievable. >> couric: some people told me the passengers jumped in the water. many of them were afraid that the plane was going to explode or sink, and that they wanted to get away from the aircraft. >> dent: i remember seeing a gentleman swim... swimming, and i don't know if he had been on the wing or how he got there. but he swam over to the life raft and people pulled him in. i heard that several people slid off the wing, and others would pull them back on. >>ouetric: y amazingly, onlyc: two people on board were seriously injured. doreen welsh was one of them, and had to be carried onto a life raft, unaware of a deep cut she had in her leg. >> welsh: it was quite a gash. thd it was all the way through scmuane thle, i d ought i wasi
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going to pass out, at that point, from it. >> couric: the crew quickly cleared out all the passengers-- parents with children, an elderly woman, and dozens of people traveling on business-- before captain sullenberger himself walked up and down the cabin, twice, to make sure everyone was out. then, he took a final look at his sinking plane, grabbed the maintenance logbook, and jumped into the last life raft, now wfiedllith passengers. did they talk to you? >> sullenberger: one man did. he said, "you saved my life. thank you." >> couric: and what did you say? >> sullenberger: i said, "you're welcome." >> couric: that's it? >> sullenberger: yeah. and at that point, also, i was telling the people on the deck of the boats to rescue the people on the wings first because we in the rafts were relatively safe. >> couric: did you see those people standing on that wing? >> sullenberger: yes. it's an amazing sight. i'll never forget it. >> couric: sullenberger had landed the plane right between two ferry terminals. within minutes, the first rescue
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boat pulled up alongside it, with others close behind. >> sullenberger: it was amazing. it was... it was crucial. it was lifesaving, literally. >> couric: what would you like to say to those folks? >> sullenberger: "thank you" seems totally inadequate. i have a debt of gratitude i fear i may never be able to repay. >> couric: to those rescue workers. >> sullenberger: yes, to the first responders, to all of them. >> couric: according to someone in the pilots' union, you were still in total professional mode once you got off that airplane. >> sullenberger: well, i may have looked like it, but i was in shock. >> couric: you were? >> sullenberger: yeah. i had just crashed an airplane. >> couric: one of the first calls captain sullenberger made was to his wife, lorrie. what did he say to you? >> lorrie sullenberger: well, i'll tell on myself and say that, when he did call our house, i was actually on the other line. and i ignored the phone call twice. and when he called the third time, i said to the person, "i think i should take the call."
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and so i hung up and took the call from sully. and he was very calm and said, "i just wanted you to know i'm okay." but i thought that meant that he was on the flight coming home, that he had made the connection and was coming home. and i just said, "okay, that's good." and he said, "no, there's been an incident. i had to ditch an airplane in the hudson river." and i laid down on the bed for a moment. i wasn't crying, but i was just in shock, really shaking hard. i called an old best friend and said, "sully has just crashed an airplane and i don't know what to do." and she said, "go get your girls." and so i hung up and... and i went and got the girls and brought them home. >> couric: captain sullenberger says, even though he believed that everyone who had been on board was safe, he still wanted confirmation. >> sullenberger: after bugging people for hours, i finally got the word that it was official, that the count was 155. >> couric: all survived. >> sullenberger: yes. 155.
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>> couric: what did you say when you heard that? >> sullenberger: i don't remember saying anything. but i remember feeling the most intense feeling of relief that i ever felt in my life. i felt like the weight of the universe had been lifted off my heart. >> couric: less than three weeks later, the crew and some of the passengers of flight 1549 came face to face for the first time since the accident. that part of the story when we come back.ed everybody's talking about the economic tsunami,
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>> couric: there are 150 people
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who might not be alive today if it weren't for captain sullenberger and his crew. we invited some of the passengers to reunite with them in charlotte, north carolina, the city that was supposed to be the final destination for flight 1549. ( cheers and applause ) ( cheers and applause ) >> sullenberger: hi. >> amy jolley: amy jolley. >> sullenberger: hi, amy. how are you? >> jolley: thank you for saving my life. >> you just did an incredible job. really, really, really proud. >> sherry leonard: thank you so much for bringing my husband home to me. >> sullenberger: what's your name? >> leonard: sherry leonard. >> judy: judy. >> sullenberger: hi, judy. >> judy: thank you so much. you kept our family together. >> you are our hero. >> yes. >> sullenberger: well, thank you. >> in fact, you and the whole crew. >> sullenberger: okay. >> you're a celebrity and my personal hero. could you... i ask you to sign my shirt? >> sullenberger: where, right there?
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you got it. let me make it big and bold. where were you sitting? >> i was in 16b. we... but we helped with the raft... >> sullenberger: i saw you, yes. >> you guys gave us all the courage. >> sullenberger: more than one woman came up to me and said, "thank you for not making me a widow. thank you for allowing my three- year-old son to have a father." >> thank you for bringing my daddy home. >> sullenberger: you're very welcome. >> couric: wow. >> sullenberger: unbelievable. >> dail: one man had told me that, you know, i was looking at him. he was in first class, and he seemed to be very anxious. and i just told him, just, you know, "be calm and, you know, just try to breathe." >> i can't tell you how frightened i was when we were coming down, and i was just thinking this person is looking at me and she's telling me everything is going to be fine. thank you again. >> dail: okay. >> dail: he showed me a picture of himself with his niece, and the niece was a child of his brother, who was killed in 9/11. >> sullenberger: and he told me he didn't think that his family could take losing a second son.
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>> my brother was a firefighter killed at the trade center. and the whole way down, i'm thinking, "my family's not going to survive this. i've got to get off this airplane." i can't believe that everyone walked off that airplane. it's a miracle. and i really thank you. >> sullenberger: 155 is a number, but when you can put faces to it-- and not just 155 faces, but the other faces, the wives, the daughters, the sons, the fathers, the mothers, the brothers. it gets to be a pretty big number pretty quickly. i simply wanted to thank all of you for coming. i think today was as much and as good for me and my crew as it was for you. we will be joined forever, because of the events of january 15, in our hearts and in our minds. good-bye. ( applause ) >> couric: it was an emotional experience for all of them, following weeks that captain
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sullenberger described as "surreal." there was the super bowl... >> announcer: please welcome the crew of u.s. airways flight 1549. >> couric: ...the inauguration and a chance to meet the president... and a celebration in his hometown of danville, california. >> captain chesley sullenberger is a true american hero. ( applause ) >> couric: but, like many of the passengers, the crew members are also having difficulty processing what happened, including captain sullenberger. >> sullenberger: one of the hardest things for me to do in this whole experience was to forgive myself for not having done something else, something better, something more complete. i don't know. >> couric: but it had such a good ending. >> sullenberger: yes, it did. >> couric: and it could have had
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such a terrible ending. >> sullenberger: i know. >> couric: but you play this over in your head. >> sullenberger: the... the first few nights were the worst, when the "what ifs" started. the second guessings would come. made sleep hard. >> couric: like what? >> sullenberger: just replaying it-- you know, flashbacks. did we... did... were we aware of everything we could have been aware of? did we make the best choices? you know, all those kinds of thoughts. >> couric: and when you think that way, do you regret anything that you did? >> sullenberger: no. not now. >> couric: captain sullenberger says he plans to fly again later this summer. for now, he and his family are finding comfort going through the mountain of mail he continues to receive from all over the world. >> lorrie sullenberger: "mr. sullenberger, great job. i'd like to buy you a beer, albeit a cheap domestic one. five dollars enclosed. god bless." ( laughs ) >> "dear captain sullenberger,
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in a world that seems to be full of bad news, it was such a wonderful day on january 15." >> "think about not only the 155 passengers but all the families who belong to these people." >> lorrie sullenberger: "dearest captain sullenberger, big apple hero. yesterday, i received a voicemail from my 84-year-old father who lives on the 30th floor of a building with river views here in manhattan. had you not been so skilled, my father or others like him in their sky-high buildings could have perished, along with your passengers, had not you landed in the river as you had. as a holocaust survivor, my father taught me that to save a life is to save a world, as you never know what the person you've saved, nor his or her prodigy, will go on to contribute to the peace and healing of the world. bless you, dear captain sullenberger. new york loves you." that is my favorite one. >> sullenberger: yeah, mine too. >> couric: you've been called a hero by a lot of people. how do you feel about that? >> sullenberger: i don't feel
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comfortable embracing it, but i don't want to deny it. i don't want to diminish their thankful feeling toward me by telling them that they're wrong. i'm beginning to understand why they might feel that way. >> couric: and why is that? >> sullenberger: something about this episode has captured people's imagination. i think they want good news. i think they want to feel hopeful again. and if i can help in that way, i will. >> couric: captain sullengberger's co-pilot, jeffrey skiles, got back in the cockpit this past spring. as for flight attendants donna dent and sheila dail, they plan to start flying again this fall. doreen welsh isn't sure if and when she'll be able to go back to work. welcome to the cbs sports update. here at the at&t national hosted by tiger woods, the
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host kept the field at bay, shot a final round 67 to win his own tournament with a score of 13 under par, his third win of the year. and wimbledon roger federer defeated andy roddick in an epic five set inch to win his 15th grand slam title. for more news and scoresog l on to cbssports.com. this is jim nance reporting. there may be more you can do. only caduet combines two proven medicines... in a single pill to significantly lower... high blood pressure and high cholesterol. in a clinical study of patients... with slightly elevated blood pressure and cholesterol, caduet helped 48% reach both goals in just 4 weeks. caduet is one of many treatment options, in addition to diet and exercise... that you can discuss with your doctor. caduet is not for everyone. it's not for people with liver problems... and women who are nursing, pregnant or may become pregnant. to check for liver problems, you need simple blood tests.
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>> kroft: when you mention the name bon jovi, you're really talking about two things. it's the name of one of the most famous rock bands in the world, and it's also the name of its front man and lead singer, jon bon jovi.
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either way, after a quarter of a century in the spotlight, you're still talking about one of the most successful acts in music history. since emerging from the clubs of the new jersey shore a decade after bruce springsteen, bon jovi has sold just as many records around the world, but without the fanfare and critical acclaim. and as we first reported when we broadcast this story last spring, none of this would have happened without the founder, jon bon jovi-- showman, salesman, philanthropist, sportsman, and clear-eyed c.e.o., who is very much an anomaly in the music business. on a hot new jersey day in july 2007, giants stadium in the meadowlands was filling up for a live earth benefit featuring some of the most famous rock stars on the planet. a few thousand feet overhead, jon bon jovi, one of the main headliners and the crowd's favorite, was surveying his domain. >> jon bon jovi: this is my hometown stadium. i'm so crazy about this building. >> kroft: and with good reason. in this day and age, there are only a handful of groups that
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can fill a football stadium, and bon jovi has done it here eight times. >> bon jovi: when i'm just driving down route 3 six months from now, i'll drive by it and say, "hello, baby. hello, mama. i'll see you soon." >> kroft: a half an hour later, he is on the ground and in the dressing room, chugging little bottles of ginseng as the rest of the band goes through its pre-concert routine. what are you doing right now? >> tico: getting my muscles warmed up. >> kroft: after a few pictures with his fans, more than 50,000 people will get what they have been waiting for. >> bon jovi: ♪ it's my life it's now or never ♪ and i ain't gonna live forever... >> kroft: it was the beginning of another good run in a very long career that has been full of them. his tenth album, "lost highway," was number one on the billboard charts, and he was just beginning another 14-month world
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tour that ended up grossing more than a quarter of a billion dollars. >> bon jovi: ♪ it's my life... >> kroft: this has been a very good year for you? >> bon jovi: i haven't had a bad year since the doctor slapped me on the ass, you know. ( laughs ) >> kroft: he's not bragging; he's just commenting on his own incredible good luck. he was born john francis bongiovi an hour's drive from the meadowlands to a father who was a marine-turned-hairdresser, and a mother who was a marine- turned-playboy bunny. it explains the good looks and the discipline he needed to survive the stigma of being one of the original 1980s hair bands. >> bon jovi: you've got to laugh and have some fun with it. i've jokingly said i'm responsible for the hole in the ozone layer. >> kroft: he's still trying to live it down, and it probably hasn't helped his street cred. do you think you've gotten the respect that's due? >> bon jovi: well, that depends on how do you want to define the word "respect." is longevity respect? is, you know, coming home and
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having your family be proud of you respect? i don't know if what you're asking me is critical acclaim, you know? there are critic's darlings that i won't be-- i got that. >> kroft: when bon jovi's third album, "slippery when wet," debuted in 1986, "rolling stone" wrote that it sounded like "bad fourth-generation metal," and neglected to mention a cut that would soon become a rock anthem. >> bon jovi: ♪ bobby used to work on the docks ♪ the union's on strike he's down on his luck... ♪ >> kroft: the album sold 25 million copies, and bon jovi got the last laugh. >> bon jovi: ♪ you got to hold on to what we got... ♪ one of the biggest albums of all time is called "slippery when wet." if "living on a prayer" hasn't crossed generations and had its influence on this culture and isn't the biggest karaoke song or stadium song that's up there
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with anyone's ever, let me know. because it's just obviously not the truth. ♪ whoa we're halfway there ♪ whoa living on a prayer... >> kroft: he followed it up with six more platinum albums, and enough hits to make his sold-out concerts among the hottest tickets in the music industry. in a business that's struggling to survive, bon jovi is still a cash cow, and no one works harder at it-- four to five two- and-a-half-hour shows per week when he's on the road, with only a couple of two-minute breaks to change clothes and cool off before going back on stage. >> bon jovi: i have to think every night like i'm a prizefighter going out on that stage, that it's going to be the last fight. you'd think, why would i beat myself up like that after 25 years? >> kroft: why would you? >> bon jovi: because you want to be the best. i don't want to think that anyone's coming in there and gonna be better tomorrow night. >> bon jovi: ♪ i'm a cowboy on a
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steel horse i ride ♪ ♪ wanted wanted dead or alive ♪ wanted... >> kroft: that blue collar work ethic to put on the best show possible has won him a loyal audience that generally prefers beer to wine, knows what they like, and could care less about the cognoscenti. >> bon jovi: ♪ raise your hand we don't wanna let it go... >> kroft: bon jovi likes to think that they're drawn to his honest, optimistic music. but he is not oblivious to his sex appeal, which is why he wears those tight jeans-- for all the ladies on their night out. who comes to bon jovi concerts? >> bon jovi: i think it's probably a 60/40 mix of girls to guys. >> kroft: why so many women, do you think? >> bon jovi: they pay me for two things: singing and shaking my rear end. ( laughs ) so, hopefully, they are still coming and feeling good about themselves out in public and enjoying that euphoria with their friends.
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>> kroft: at some point that, over the years, must have posed a bit of a distraction for you, didn't it? >> bon jovi: well, sure. i mean, how could it not? they are beautiful to look at. but if the question is, you know, why not indulge? ultimately, i got it right the first time. >> kroft: he's talking about his wife, dorthea, a former high school sweetheart who he's been married to for 20 years. she makes it a point to keep herself and their four children out of the spotlight. does she understand all this stuff? >> bon jovi: yeah, most definitely, because she has been through it with me since its inception. >> kroft: i know she's talked about women, like, crawling over her... >> bon jovi: ( laughs ) yeah. >> kroft: ...to get to you. >> bon jovi: yeah. it's true. but, like i said, she's very self-assured and independent and strong-willed, and knows who she is. >> kroft: she's also happens to be a black belt in karate. the family splits their time between new york, long island, and this sprawling estate on the navesink river in the horse
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country of new jersey. i never would have figured you for a french chateau. >> bon jovi: well, there you go- - never judge a book by its cover. >> kroft: bon jovi says he and his wife wanted something timeless and classic; something understated, he joked, that they could grow into. >> bon jovi: so, this is the living room. >> kroft: the living room. do you do any living in here? >> bon jovi: we actually really, truly do. >> kroft: and with the push of a button, he showed us why. the floor parted, and from below emerged a giant screen that turned the parlor into a screening room. that's what i call a big screen tv >> bon jovi: you bet. >> kroft: it is more than suitable for hosting titans of industry, entertainment moguls and presidential candidates, all of which bon jovi has done here. and it serves as a signpost for just how rich, successful and ambitious he's become. he has aspirations of one day owning part of an n.f.l. franchise, which is one of the reasons he decided to buy the philadelphia soul of the arena football league back in 2004.
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nostalgic for the days when players were accessible and tickets affordable, bon jovi has tried to recreate the era when a dad could take a bunch of neighborhood kids to a game, and when sports franchises gave back something to the community. does the football team make enough money for you to be doing it all in their name? >> bon jovi: no, not at all. >> kroft: it make any money at all? >> bon jovi: no. but we're not losing a lot of money, either. i didn't do it to make money. in fact, on paper, owning a sports team doesn't make any sense to anybody. it makes no sense. it's not economically viable. >> kroft: so, bon jovi made the team the umbrella of his philanthropic endeavors, like refurbishing 15 townhouses on what had been one of the worst streets in philadelphia. so, 15 of them were built by the soul? >> bon jovi: yeah, yeah. >> kroft: that's an ambitious project for an arena football team. >> bon jovi: that it is. that it is. the idea was that i was going to take all the monies that we made and give it back and utilize it in ways that would affect the community. so, initially, i was playing robin hood.
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and if you needed a playground at a foster home, we built it. if you needed beds for a covenant house, we gave them to you. >> kroft: it helped make the soul one of the most successful franchises in the league. and just a few hours after they won their home opener before 15,000 people at the wachovia center, the arena was being transformed for another bon jovi event; this time, it was his night job, another sold-out concert that was taking place on his 46th birthday. >> bon jovi: ♪ whoa, she's a little runaway... >> kroft: a few days later, the traveling circus with 92 employees and 27 truckloads of gear had moved west to pittsburgh. and, as with everything else in his life, jon bon jovi is the ringmaster. so, what's your payroll? >> bon jovi: outdoors, it's a couple million a week. indoors, it's half of that. it's high. i mean, i get sick, man, there ain't no insurance for that, you know. >> richie sambora: jon is the
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leader of this organization. it's defined. that's an advantage. >> kroft: richie sambora is bon jovi's lead guitarist. 1985, "rolling stone" magazine reported that jon was the only person who was actually on the record contract, and the rest of you were all employees of his. >> sambora: that's true. >> kroft: is that still the same? >> sambora: still the same. it's the most unique position, and the most unique thing in the record business, i think, to date. it shows you even more the solidarity of what this union is about. >> kroft: the loyalty goes both ways, and bon jovi has made them rich beyond their wildest dreams. sambora, drummer tico torres and keyboardist dave bryan have been together for 27 years now, since the earliest days on the jersey shore, and they remain among bon jovi's closest friends. you guys seem to get along pretty well for a rock band. >> sambora: we speak the same language. we've grown up in the same place. i mean, jon and david and i were born by the same baby doctor in
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the same hospital. >> dave bryan: it's a relationship that's closer than marriage. you know, we can't divorce each other, or the only way out of this band, i think, is death. that's about it. >> kroft: it's taken them to london, paris, berlin, tokyo, and a few years ago, to nashville, for what many people thought was a high-risk venture into the world of country music. >> bon jovi: ♪ i spent 28 years trying to get out of this place ♪ was looking for something i couldn't replace... >> kroft: but a collaboration with jennifer nettles and sugarland on a bon jovi song led to one of their biggest hits in years. >> bon jovi: ♪ i been there, done that ♪ i aim to get back some seeds that i sown... >> kroft: "who says you can't go home" became the first song ever written by a rock band to reach number one on the country charts, and won bon jovi a grammy, a new audience and another life. he thinks he still has a couple more to go. >> bon jovi: my biography's only half written. this was just the opening act. >> kroft: and what's the rest of
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the story going to be? >> bon jovi: that's the beauty of it. i never was going to be a "coulda, shoulda, woulda." too many people i've met are, "i coulda done that, i shoulda done that, i woulda done that." me, i said, "let's go." ( conversation ) garth, you're up. hold on, i'm at capitalone.com picking a photo... for my credit card. here's one from my prom. oh, what memories. how 'bout one from our golf outing? ( shouting ) i know, maybe one of my first-born son. dad, mom says the boys gotta go. personalize your card by uploading... your own photo at capitalone.com. what's in your wallet? ♪
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learn more at supportyourvet.org. >> kroft: andy rooney will be back next week, and so will the rest of us with another edition of "60 minutes."

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