Cynical Synapse

Mon, 19 Jan 2009

“In the event of a water landing…”

Filed under: Behavior, Heroes, Life, People, Safety — cynicalsynapse @ 11:01 pm

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve listened to that phrase, always dismissing it as the likely disaster it’s intended to negate. But Thursday’s crash into the Hudson was a true water landing, a testament to the professionalism of today’s air crews.

Call it luck or a miracle, but everyone on board US Airways 1549 got off the plane. Many attribute the outcome of this situation to pilot and Captain Chesley (Sully) Sullenberger III, a one-time USAF fighter pilot. Without a doubt, Sullenberger’s skills played a significant part in the outcome of this event. Putting an intact aircraft on the surface of the Hudson River provides a means for rescuing survivors.

That’s where the ferry boat operators and small craft owners came into play. Without regard to their own safety, they braved Jet-A to rescue Flight 1549’s passengers. Time of day, location, combined crew, and local bystanders combined to ensure a good outcome to this event.

Earlier this week, the Detroit area suffered some typical Michigan weather—icy and snowy beyond the routine. In one incident, a car spun off the freeway, resulting in injuries. While, unfortunately, more common than we should like, what’s notable is those who stopped to help. They were a retired National Guardsman, a current Guardsman, and the Michigan Guard’s active component Senior Army Adviser. What does that say about the state of today’s Military and service to country and state? Where was everyone else?

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