Monday, February 09, 2009
For the first time in 50 years of commercial jet flight, the pilot of US Air Flight 1549 successfully executed one of the most technically challenging maneuvers, landing a jetliner on water without fatalities. The pilot, Captain Chesley B. "Sully" Sullenberger, is an inspirational modern day hero.
His opportunity to be a hero dropped into his lap unexpectedly- he certainly never sought the situation. But he spent his life unwittingly preparing for his heroic role by doing what common, everyday heroes do- by realizing what his life's purpose was, or as some would say, by following his calling. And he did that with complete abandon.
Sulley was no ordinary pilot- his wife referred to him as "the consummate pilot" whose life revolved around his career. He was a US Air Force Academy graduate who flew F4 fighter planes. He was a renowned airline safety expert- an international speaker- who had been used by NASA as a consultant.
His cool, calm and collected style has been honed by decades of flight experience and research on safety. His actions on January 15, 2009 were exemplary, from the moment he heard the geese hitting his plane until he was the last person to evacuate the wreckage after having checked twice for any remaining passengers.
Prior to executing the unthinkable task of ditching his aircraft into the Hudson River, he matter-of-factly instructed his 155 passengers to "brace for impact." Let's hope that the impact of Captain Sullenberger reverberates for a long time, as his story inspire us to ponder the value of complete dedication to one's calling.
Posted by B.S. at Monday, February 09, 2009