U.S. Airways better keep a close eye on their heroic pilot, Capt. Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger. In fact, a bonus may be in order.

Virgin Air kabillionaire Richard Branson wants to steal Sully and is willing to make him an offer the talented pilot can’t refuse.

44689702 Virgin Air's Richard Branson to Chesley Sullenberger: Come fly for me! “I’d like him to come fly for us,” Branson told the N.Y. Daily News LA-based reporter Leah Sydney. “We’ll make him the best-paid pilot at Virgin — we’ll give him double [the salary of] anybody else. He also can become one of the astronauts in my intergalactic spaceship company. The man can write his own ticket with me.”

Told of the offer, Sullenberger sounded interested.

“That’s amazing,” said the “Miracle on the Hudson” pilot who saved the lives of 155 people when he landed a jetliner in the icy Hudson River on Jan. 15. “I hadn’t heard that. I will be happy to entertain all the things that are coming my way.”

Sullenberger will no doubt get a heroes standing ovation with his Flight 1549 crew at today’s Super Bowl.

Branson says that Sully’s cool actions were  breathtaking. "Every single thing he could have done right, he did right — from the second he made that decision not to go to that local airport, to put the plane down in the water, to the way he looked after everybody.”

Branson knows from near-death flight experiences.

“Pulling the wrong rip cord on a sky dive," he told Sydney. "Crashing into the sea five times. Landing in the Arctic in a balloon when I was meant to land in Los Angeles. I’ve been rescued numerous times by helicopters.”

Branson definitely needs Sully on his team.

Related posts:

Chester Sullenberger gets his FaceBook page!

US Airways crash investigation proceeds in New York

US Airways pilot Capt. Sully was ‘right guy at right time’

Photos: WireImage

Spencer Weiner / Los Angeles Times

Posted by:Elizabeth Snead