Sully successfully guided US Airways Flight 1549 to a safe emergency water landing on New York's Hudson River in 2009, after both its engines had been disabled by a flock of Canada geese, and he admits director Eastwood has really captured the drama and its aftermath perfectly.

Sullenberger recalls meeting Clint for lunch months before the filmmaker started work on Sully, and admits he had a very good feeling about the project from the get-go.

"He (Clint) spent about three hours with us at lunch," he says. "He's a very quiet guy, focused and obviously very much in love with his craft. It was important that he get the emotional temperature of this right and told the story as truly as he could with the kind of respect we feel for the story ourselves because of the way it touches people.

"He assured us he would do that and that he would take good care of us. We took him at his word. It's been quite a process but it's been quite a lot of fun."

And Sullenberger was thrilled to hear Tom Hanks would be playing him on the big screen months later: "That was also very good news. I don't think any of us could've imagined anybody else in that role, especially having seen him now.

"I saw it twice; the first time on July 21st, along with my family of four privately. We were the first ones to see the absolute finished version after all the special effects had been added. I think Clint did a great job."

Sully hits cinemas in America next week (beg05Sep16).