Hero Pilot Lands $3 Million Book Deal

HarperCollins will pay $3.2 million for two books from pilot Chesley Sullenberger, according to a story in the Daily Beast. And go figure: the Zen-calm "Hero of the Hudson" is a poet.

Sullenberger has agreed to write two books for the publisher's William Morrow imprint, former Publishers Weekly editor Sara Nelson reports: One a memoir of being an ass-kicking, calm-and-collected pilot who can land a plane on water with no casualties; the other a book of... poems. "Inspirational" poems, of course, in case you're ever hurtling toward your death and need some sort of inspiration not to, uh, die.

(Points to Nelson for landing such a big scoop less than two months after being laid off from PW. Her hero Kurt Andersen would be proud.)

Given the unfortunate cashing-in by Octo-Mom and many, many other dubious celebrities, no one will begrudge a bona fide hero his small fortune. Nor will anyone hold against Sullenberger the probably-inevitable auction of movie rights to the memoir.