Monday, February 09, 2009

our hero

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.


Lynilu said...

Don't you wish more people could have the dedication to their jobs that he and his crew do?

Betty said...

Yes, Lynilu, I do. The world would be a better place, I'm sure.


Loving Annie said...

He did a wonderful job and saved 155 lives by doing so :)

Laurie said...

When we fly to NY that is the
airport we fly in and out of....
I was so jumping up and down and
clapping screaming and crying
when I watched that...

All the people that rushed to help
makes me proud to be an American :)

Hope you're doing well :)


Betty said...

Dear Annie,

This news story has been one of my all-time favorites. I more news stories had such happy endings.


Betty said...

Dear Laurie,

You could have been on that flight! Can you just imagine???

Maybe he'll be in the cockpit next time you fly to NY!


Monogram Queen said...

I am so in awe of this man! What a true example of a hero and a great example to all of us!

Big Dave T said...

I'll be honest. Since I was flying this past weekend for the first time in 27 years (by choice), I didn't want to hear one more word about any plane crashing.

But I do think that's an incredible story. Boos to the passenger who bolted past a flight attendant to release the emergency door, allowing water to gush in and almost sinking the plane. You heard about that too, right.

I was just hoping that I had a guy like Sully flying my plane. Especially since there was a two-year old playing around unattended by the emergency exit door when we were at 40,000 feet over the Atlantic and it was 93 degrees below zero outside our plane.

Sheesh, I hate flying.

Betty said...

Dear Patti,

Yep- he's a living legend. For once I'm glad to see so much media coverage!


Betty said...

Dear Big Dave,

I guess I haven't been following the news as closely as I thought....I didn't know about the passenger who nearly sank the plane. Unbelievable!

I know I'll always pay attention to the pilots when I fly from now on.... I have to admit, I strongly dislike flying over oceans. I can't imagine letting a 2-year-old play near the emergency exit!!!!


Swishy said...

I read the story about that flight in People magazine today and almost started crying. He was so good and calm ... I can't imagine being in that situation!