• By Kelly Reller

First officer in Miracle on the Hudson landing to speak at Mayo Clinic

September 13, 2017

Jeff Skiles in airplane cockpitROCHESTER, Minn. – The Mayo Clinic Division of Preventive, Occupational and Aerospace Medicine has announced that pilot Jeff Skiles will be the speaker at the fourth J. Richard Hickman Jr., M.D., M.P.H., Lectureship. The lectureship will take place on Sept. 22 at noon CDT in Phillips Hall, Siebens Building. This lecture is open to Mayo Clinic staff only.

Skiles is best known as the first officer to Capt. Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger on US Airways Flight 1549, which encountered multiple bird strikes. This resulted in engine failure and forced a water landing on the Hudson River in New York City in January 2009. All 155 people aboard the plane survived in the successful landing, which is known as the “Miracle on the Hudson.”

Skiles served as vice president of the Coalition of Airline Pilots Associations, representing over 28,000 pilots in airline safety and security issues. His leadership also extends to his tenure as vice president of Communities and Member Programs for the pilot association Experimental Aircraft Association.

“Mr. Skiles’ commitment to aviation safety and understanding of teamwork in a safety-sensitive environment was a primary driver for the successful outcome in what could have been a terrible tragedy. His experience in one of the most historical moments in aviation history makes him an exemplary speaker featured in the Hickman Lectureship series,” says Clayton Cowl, M.D., division chair of Preventive, Occupational and Aerospace Medicine at Mayo Clinic. “We are honored to have him speak and extend his expertise to a Mayo Clinic audience, where those same values of safety and teamwork are experienced on a daily basis.”

As a writer of over 100 aviation industry articles, Skiles has shared his experiences across the industry, including air safety presentations, to multiple audiences. He focuses on the development of safety management systems and looks at how that has led to significant changes in airline operations over the past 20 years.

The Hickman Lectureship is dedicated to the career and work of Dr. J. Richard Hickman Jr., who formerly served as division chair of Preventive, Occupational and Aerospace Medicine at Mayo Clinic. He served as a colonel in the U.S. Air Force prior to his career at Mayo Clinic. He was an expert in altitude physiology, aerospace medicine and preventive cardiology.

The fourth Hickman Lectureship takes place during the 75th anniversary year of Mayo Clinic’s Aeromedical Unit, which was established in the early years of World War II to provide aviation research for the U.S. military. The top-secret products of this research include the high-altitude mask, five-bladder G-suit, M-1 straining maneuver of fighter pilots and groundwork for better understandings of the human body in relation to aviation.

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About the J. Richard Hickman Jr., M.D., M.P.H., Lectureship
The J. Richard Hickman Jr., M.D., M.P.H., Lectureship is an event sponsored by the Mayo Clinic Division of Preventive, Occupational and Aerospace Medicine in honor of its fifth chair, who led by example in delivering Mayo Clinic core values to each patient undergoing care. Dr. Hickman’s compassion for patients and faculty, diagnostic and clinical treatment excellence, and visionary leadership has inspired a generation of physicians working in Aerospace Medicine and Preventive Medicine. The lectureship was created to feature individuals from all walks of life performing research in the field; serving individuals in the aerospace sciences; or having an inspirational story related to physiology, preventive cardiology or aviation.

About Mayo Clinic
Mayo Clinic is a nonprofit organization committed to clinical practice, education and research, providing expert, comprehensive care to everyone who needs healing. For more information, visit mayoclinic.org/about-mayo-clinic or newsnetwork.mayoclinic.org.

MEDIA CONTACT
Kelly Reller, Mayo Clinic Public Affairs, 507-284 5005, newsbureau@mayo.edu

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