Sully’s Save

What a responsible, competent person Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger is!

I just watched Katie Couric on “Sixty Minutes” interview the pilot who crash landed in the Hudson River, a flight on which all 155 people aboard survived.  This was no miracle; this was the culmination of Sully’s lifelong training and experience.  Sully did not invoke the work of God, nor should he.  The successful outcome of this flight had nothing to do with a higher authority and everything to do with Sully’s competence and clear thinking.

In the very few minutes he had between takeoff, the engines ingesting birds and the landing, Sully put all the factors together in his mind necessary for survival: the nose of the plane had to be at a certain level, as did the tail, and the speed of the plane had to be precise.  By his absolute concentration on all of these factors, he brought down the plane safely.

Then Couric asked him, once he landed the plane, if he took just a few seconds to congratulate himself on a job well done. Sully responded “No.  The job was not yet complete.”  He knew he now had to get all the passengers and crew to safety.  And so he and the crew did, with the fantastic help of the ferry boats that immediately came to the rescue.

It is trite to call Sully a hero.  The reality is that he is a man who educated himself during his entire career for a catastrophic circumstance such as he had found himself in that day in the Hudson River.  He learned his trade well and applied all that knowledge to the situation at hand.  He exhibited presence of mind that he had been trained for and he actually used all the technological information that he had absorbed over decades.

This is responsibility at its highest level.  Hats off to you, Sully.  You are so much more than a hero; you are a living testament to the heights a person can rise to if they do their homework and care enough to turn their education into personal competence.  Talk about benefiting the greater good.

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One Response to “Sully’s Save”

  1. Natalie Rosen Says:

    I saw the Sixty Minutes segment too. Phenomenal is the only word I can think of describe that man. Katy Couric I think was hoping he would attribute it to some hocus pocus higher power supernatural thing so she could get ratings but Sullenberger, thankfully, did not give her hocus pocus. He gave her and us TRUTH, reality, provable technique. I think Sullenberger is a metaphor for our time. We need real, professional, true, competent leadership to get us out of our potential catastrophe. Sullenberger showed us a way. It is up to us, with supremely good leadership, to take the cue.

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