Katie Couric, Capt. Chelsey Sullenberger, US Airways Flight 1549

Chris McGrath/Getty Images, Krista Kennell/ZUMAPress.com, Safety Reliability Methods, Inc.

Katie Couric is Sullying her reputation—in a very good way.

The CBS Evening News anchor, whose network-news star has risen in recent months thanks to the hardballs she fired at Sarah Palin during a sit-down last fall, has landed the first aftermath interview with Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger, the press-shy US Airways pilot who successfully landed a passenger jet in New York's Hudson River after losing power in both engines when the plane ran into a flock of Canadian geese.

All 155 passengers and crew members on Flight 1549 survived and casualties were minimal and Sullenberger, a former Air Force pilot who has been with U.S. Airways for nearly 30 years, has received pretty much all of the credit for this story's happy ending.

The 57-year-old Danville, Calif., resident fielded congratulatory phone calls from then-President George W. Bush and now-President Barack Obama, but has largely stayed out of the limelight since.

Sullenberger's actions on Jan. 15 "inspired people around the city, and millions more around the world," said NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg during a ceremony last week at City Hall, which the veteran pilot did not attend.

The result of his sit-down with Couric will be shown Feb. 8 on 60 Minutes.

Couric's great get almost didn't happen, however. Sullenberger was originally going to talk first with NBC's Matt Lauer, but was forced to cancel until authorities wrapped up their investigation into the accident.

NBC said Friday that, although the network had a deal with Sullenberger's camp for the exclusive, it wishes the pilot well.

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