Capitan Sully Sullenberger to Address Thunder Address Thunderbird Lodge & Yacht Fundraiser

(Incline Village, Nev.) – Captain Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger, the pilot who calmly and heroically landed his jetliner on New York’s Hudson River saving all 155 passengers and crew on board, will speak in Incline Village at a benefit for the Thunderbird Preservation Society on Saturday, September 3.

The man who redefined “hero” on January 15, 2009, will discuss the importance of core values, including the preservation of vintage Americana – specifically Lake Tahoe’s historic Thunderbird Lodge and Yacht.

The presentation is open to the public and will be held at the Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe Lakeside Ballroom at 3:00 pm, with doors opening at 2:00 pm. Captain Sullenberger will arrive at the hotel’s dock aboard the historic, 55-foot iconic Thunderbird yacht. The Thunderbird Preservation Society is raising the $1.5 million necessary to keep the venerable vessel at Lake Tahoe.

Tickets are $35 each in advance and $45 at the door with only 300 available. The Hyatt Lake Tahoe is providing light snacks for attendees, with a no-host bar available. For tickets and information, please visit

A members-only reception with Captain Sullenberger precedes the public event at 1:00 pm at Thunderbird Lodge. Tickets are $250 for Thunderbird Preservation Society members. New members interested in the organization’s effort to save the Thunderbird are welcome to join.

Since retiring from US Airways after 30 years service in March 2010, Captain Sullenberger has become an international speaker on airline safety and has helped develop new protocols for aviation safety. In September 2009 he, along with Flight 1549 First Officer Jeffery Skiles, became the Co-Chairman of the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) Young Eagles program that introduces young people to aviation. Sullenberger is an Aviation Safety Expert with CBS News , and author of Highest Duty, a memoir of his life and the events surrounding Flight 1549 published in 2009 by HarperCollins. He was one of TIME Magazine’s Top 100 Most Influential Heroes and Icons of 2009.

The Thunderbird yacht’s colorful history traces to 1939 when George Whittell Jr., a character and raconteur, had the boat constructed at the cost of $87,000 (over $3.3 million in today’s dollars). Since then, Thunderbird has arguably become America’s most famous wooden boat. At 55 feet, she boasts Honduran mahogany hardwoods, polished stainless steel and elegant crystal. Her two vintage V-12 Allison Aircraft engines power her across the Lake-in-the-Sky at speeds approaching 70 mph.

In 1962, William “Bill” Harrah purchased and then modified it, adding a deck cover and installing her dual V-12 Allison Aircraft engines. Harrah kept his “70 mile-per-hour cocktail lounge” poised and ready to entertain celebrities including Ty Cobb, Jack Dempsey, Dean Martin, Tony Bennett, Liberace, Frank Sinatra, Bill Cosby and Howard Hughes as well as sports legends, recluses, stars, artists, scientists, and U.S. presidents.

The non-profit Thunderbird Preservation Society was organized to preserve and protect Lake Tahoe’s George Whittell Estate Thunderbird Lodge National Historic Site and to promote public appreciation and education regarding the historical, maritime, architectural and cultural resources of the Lake Tahoe region through public tours, conferences, excursions, and forums. The Preservation Society is a 501(c)(3) non profit corporation and charitable gifts to the Preservation Society are tax deductible to the extent permitted by Law.

For more information about Captain Sullenberger’s presentation, the Thunderbird Lodge & Yacht, or Preservation Society membership, please contact Barbi Mooberry at 775-832-8752, or e-mail

For additional information or to make reservations:

Thunderbird Lodge Preservation Society

Telephone 775.832.8752