'Sully' Producers Sued by Aircraft Consultant for Failure to Pay

Sully Still - Publicity - H 2016
Courtesy of Warner Bros.

Sully Still - Publicity - H 2016

Producers of Sully failed to pay a pilot who ensured the plane in their film, which looked like the one Captain Chesley Sullenberger safely landed after colliding with a flock of birds in 2009's real-life "Miracle on the Hudson," according to a lawsuit filed Friday in Los Angeles County Superior Court.

Scott Heger says he was responsible for replicating the Airbus A320 and described it as one of two "main characters" in the film. The other character, "Sully" Sullenberger, is played by Tom Hanks.

"Stated broadly, Scott was responsible for the 'acting' of the inanimate 'main character,'" states the complaint. "Despite Scott’s contributions, which were central to the film, defendants have refused to compensate him."

Herger is suing Warner Bros. Entertainment, Kiki Tree Pictures and Tim Moore for breach of oral contract, fraud and labor code violations.

The pilot claims he made an oral agreement with Moore to act as the "aerial coordinator" for the film and arrange for Blair Adhesive products to acquire the necessary airplanes. The men agreed compensation would depend on the amount of work that was necessary, and that they would cover everything except procurement and transport of the planes and revisit the amount at a later date. Meanwhile, Blair entered into three written contracts for the project.

Heger says he devoted full-time attention to Sully for more than six months, often working more than 60 hours a week on everything from coaching actors to location scouting and safety consultation.

According to the complaint, Warners declined to pay Heger because he didn't have a written contract and his services were rolled into the airplane procurement agreements with Blair.

Heger says his services were outside of the scope of that contract, Moore acknowledged that when they made an oral agreement and he's owed at least $250,000 in compensation. Heger also is suing for punitive damages, claiming the producers threatened to "blacklist" him if he sued.

He is being represented by Aaron Shechet.

Warner Bros. did not immediately respond to a request for comment.