OPA-LOCKA (CBS4)-  The pilot who landed a US Airways flight safely into the Hudson River nearly three years ago flew an airplane out of South Florida Friday morning , and it was all for a good cause.

Capt. Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger and co-pilot Jeff Skiles flew the 1958 Eastern Airlines DC-7B airplane from Opa-Locka Airport to Charlotte, North Carolina.

“Today I’m going to be a first officer on a DC 7,” Skiles said.

The flight took off at approximately 9 a.m. Passengers paid $1,000 per ticket and the flight was sold out.

But there were some special passengers also soaring all the way to Charlotte.

“This is my 1549 chain,” Denise Lockie said.

Lockie was on board flight on 1549 when it crashed into the Hudson, and on Friday she’s a passenger, proudly flying with the crew who saved her life.

Lockie said she still has flying gitters.

“Of course I have some uneasiness flying… which I’m sure I’ll have for the rest of my life,” she said.

Proceeds from the event will go to the Miami-based Historical Flight Foundation, a museum that promotes awareness of aviation history. The plane belongs to the foundations, CBS4’s Kara Kostanich reported.

The flight for Sully has been a life-long ambition.

“It’s an airplane I built a model of as a kid,” he said. “It’s really a reminder of the golden age of aviation when travel was more glamorous in many ways.”

The interior of the plane takes passengers back to the 50s and 60s, even with two former Eastern Airlines flight attendants working Thursday’s flight.

“Every time you hear those engines, you’re going down the runway… it’s just amazing. It really is… born to fly,” Karyle Rodenbeck Martin, a former Eastern Airlines flight attendant, said.

On January 15, 2009, Sullenberger and his crew safely guided US Airways Flight 1549 to an emergency water landing in New York City’s frigid Hudson River. Sullenberger had previously logged nearly 20,000 hours of service in the skies.

En route from New York City to Charlotte, the Airbus A320’s two engines had lost thrust following a bird strike. His quick thinking and decisive action enabled him to execute an incredible emergency water landing that saved the lives of all 155 people aboard.

Slideshow: Captain ‘Sully’ Flies Vintage Plane Out Of S. Fla.

Sullenberger and his crew won international acclaim for their actions that day, including the passage of a Congressional resolution recognizing their bravery.

In May, the now retired pilot was named CBS News Aviation and Safety Expert.

(©2011 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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