A few weeks ago, I called a previous incident “the worst nightmare in airline travel for anyone who has flown on an airplane.” I now have to take that back, for I was wrong. On Thursday afternoon the country witnessed the worst nightmare of airline travel for anyone who has flown on an airplane. As redundant as it may sound, this latest incident, while is an accident involving an airplane, appears to be as close to a miracle as many of us could imagine.
Just after takeoff, US Airways flight 1549 ran into engine failure and was going down. It wasn’t in the air for no more than five minutes after taking off from LaGuardia Airport in New York when the pilot announced to the passengers, “brace for impact” before he was forced to take the plane down for an emergency landing in the Hudson River. The plane glided down onto the water on its bellying, immediately submerged window high, as water slowly moved into the cabin. All 155 passengers were guided out onto the wings and into rescue boats before the plane went completely under. All passengers survived with only few minor injuries.
In the aftermath dozens of passengers began to sing the praise of the pilot, Chelsey B. “Sulley” Sullenberger, who performed an expert landing in extreme situations. It was called “phenomenal”, “cool-headed”, and a “hell of a landing.” Sullenberger was said to have been amazingly calm when he called in to the tower and told them geese had gotten sucked into the engines. He apparently maneuvered it over the city and landed it on the river the best he could. After everyone was ushered out, Sullenberger went back through twice to make sure no one was left behind.
Not for nothin’, but no engines, plane falling from the sky, crash landing in the river, it all spells for disaster. If you agree to a gambling theory of mine, “luck is for those who don’t know what they’re doing,” then that says a lot in regards to the piloting and the design of aircrafts nowadays. This is the latest of four major accidents in as many years where there were no fatalities. I think these guys know what they’re doing.