Good Morning America visited Livermore Airport (LVK) in California on a secret mission last week. You can watch the results on Good Morning America Wednesday, May 5, between 7 a.m. and 9 a.m. on your local ABC station.
The secret mission was to tape a segment of “Living the Dream,” where people selected by GMA’s audience have their dreams fulfilled. The first to lead the effort was anchor Robin Roberts, who got to live one of her dreams by flying with Capt. Chelsey “Sully” Sullenberger, the pilot who successfully ditched his airliner in the Hudson River. Why would Roberts be so focused on Sullenberger? It turns out that she actually witnessed the ditching from her apartment balcony. She was talking to GMA producer Karen Leo on the phone when she saw the airliner descending into the Hudson. She told Leo to call the news people and then dialed 911. Hers was the second call to 911. She saw what Sully and his crew accomplished that day, and has wanted to interview and fly with him since then.
Livermore’s Don Johnson, a friend of Sullenberger’s, coordinated the local effort, and Attitude Aviation hosted the ABC news group and Channel 7 for the shoot. Johnson arranged for a King Air and refresher training for Sullenberger so he could fly Roberts for the airborne portion of the shoot. ABC arranged the helicopter for air to air footage and all the ground equipment and crew. Attitude Aviation provided the venue, with ramp space for the King Air and helicopter ops and a museum worthy hangar full of airplanes as a backdrop for the interview.