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Documentary celebrates Sully, Miracle on the Hudson

Just as he took control of crippled US Airways Flight 1549, Capt. Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger showed Tuesday night he also had a firm grip on the story of the Miracle on the Hudson.

Sullenberger was in New York City for a screening of "Brace for Impact," a documentary about the emergency water landing in the frigid Hudson River a year ago.

The US Airways Airbus A320 hit Canada geese after takeoff from LaGuardia Airport on Jan. 15, 2009.

>> PHOTOS: See images from the 'Miracle on the Hudson' and the ceremonies that followed

The impact shut down both engines, leaving Sullenberger to guide the disabled plane to a safe landing in the Hudson.

Since the emergency landing, Sullenberger, 59, participated in the making of the documentary, which airs Sunday on TLC.

"I think it was an important story that needed to be told, and I wanted to make sure it was done right," Sullenberger said.

Sullenberger also made sure he wasn't the only star involved with the project: Actor Harrison Ford lends his voice to the film.

"I asked Harrison Ford to narrate it and he agreed," Sullenberger said. "It's in HD [high definition]. It's going to be a beautiful show."

The film screened at the Walter Reade Theater at Lincoln Center.

It features Sullenberger retracing the path of Flight 1549 in a helicopter.

The captain narrated the critical moments of the Miracle on the Hudson flight - from the bird strike that robbed the engines of thrust, to the splashdown, to the rescue of 155 passengers and crew by commercial boats.

The film also features interviews with the flight crew, passengers and first responders.

Flight 1549 passenger Barry Leonard, 56, of North Carolina, broke his sternum in the crash.

He said in the months since, the passengers have become "like a second family."

His interview for the documentary ended up on the cutting room floor.

Vince Lombardi of Montclair, N.J., was the operator of the New York Waterway boat that rescued the passengers and crew.

At a cocktail party after the screening, near where Sullenberger signed copies of his book, Lombardi enthused about the film.

"It was nice. It was 100 percent true," he said. "I can't wait for the world to see it."

Near the end of the documentary, Sullenberger reflected on the reasons why the Miracle on the Hudson captured the hearts of the nation.

"It reminded us of the potential in each of us," he said.

>> PHOTOS: See images from the 'Miracle on the Hudson' and the ceremonies that followed

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