Saturday, January 17, 2009

It's a Miracle... Again!


Chesley B. Sullenberger III has been described as "a pilot's pilot." The man has been flying since he was 14. He has flown fighter jets and commercial aircraft. He is one of those rare individuals, like race car drivers, who have his profession in his blood and bones. He pays attention. He cares, and it all matters to him. He probably feels the plane as an extension of himself the way a tennis player feels the racket is an extension of his arm.

On January 15, 2009, he piloted a plane with no engines into a successful water landing on the Hudson River. He knew he had enough velocity, and he made several decisions allowing him to sit the bird down where some might have frozen in the belief that they were already screwed. He rolled the dice a little, to be sure. They came up seven because, sometimes, they do. If the river had been deeper, or muddier, or things had gone wrong... but this time they didn't. That was in major part due to Capt. Sullenberger and his will to keep control of the aircraft.

So of course, "It's a Miracle!" Governor David Patterson wants everyone to know that Goddidit! This point of view is being repeated over and over: "Miracle on the Hudson!" Once again, the skills of an extraordiary human being cannot possibly be credited to him. God must get the credit. If the plane were to hang inexplicably in mid-air while everyone got off, that would be a miracle. If 2" of ice held under the weight of the plane, that would be a miracle. If the river suddenly parted like the Red Sea allegedly did, or became suddenly shallower in that particular spot... I'm sure you're getting the picture. A plane that was flown properly and obeyed all the laws of physics that were applicable under the circumstances is not a miracle. It is a breathtakingly beautiful piece of flying. Tell that to the superstitious lot that think God was fiddle-fucking about with the wings, all the while ignoring all those people getting blown up in the "Holy Land" from missile fire.

But wait, Capt. Sullenberger did get help pulling this off! This just in! God is a Ferry Boat!

Congratulations to all the human beings who participated in this rescue.

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7 Comments:

At 8:20 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

People call things miracles when they personally would not have a snowball's chance in hell of pulling off what someone else did. I am in awe of Captain Sullenberger's ability to maintain a cool head and use his knowledge and expertise to save that plane full of lives. I am amazed that the ferry boat captains didn't duck their heads and say "It's not my job". I am thankful to all those involved that they gave me a reason not to hate people for a day.

ILD

 
At 4:05 PM, Blogger Tit for Tat said...

"I am thankful to all those involved that they gave me a reason not to hate people for a day"

I was thinking maybe this is one of the reasons we LOVE what people do. Good post.

 
At 6:00 AM, Blogger Homo Escapeons said...

What you say is true, Humans couldn't possibly have outwitted the Fates.

I hate Flying but I will be taking off in March for a holiday in the Sun. Everytime I step foot in a plane I try to reassure myself with the miraculous safety record and convince myself that this gamble is a sure thing...almost.

Plummeting from the sky would take several minutes from 30,000 feet and in that time I have no doubt that I would be prone to say a few words...my guess is that a foxhole conversion would be a default response because of our cultural influences. They might not be very kind words. Afterall under such duress I might be really pissed off that I wasn't going to end my days in the throes of passion as per my plan.

I can only hope that my pilot is a pilot's pilot. The most comforting notion is that being a pilot requires certain traits and a bad day at the office would punish the pilot as much as his customers.

Thank goodness that pilots do not chalk up the same rate of suicide as Psychiatrists and Dentists.

 
At 4:15 PM, Anonymous Rita said...

I guess by looking at the news reports it is officially being called "The miracle on the Hudson."

I culled this off of that idiot Michelle Malkin's site, “The passengers aboard the plane reportedly prayed as they made their descent toward the Hudson River. It would appear, however, that their prayers were answered before they ever boarded the plane.” Jeez! What strange reasoning that is. God had decided to save them all before they even knew what was going to happen, but he went ahead with the whole scenario. What a jerk! How could anyone not seriously question that? Obviously, god loves to hear people scream & cry for mercy.

 
At 9:13 AM, Blogger breakerslion said...

Anonymous: New York has a reputation for being a tough town, but it's amazing how many people will respond to an emergency. Beneath that tough exterior lies many hearts of gold.

Tit for Tat: I'm always pleasantly surprised when people calmly and unselfishly do right by each other. It balances out those other types....

Homo Escapeons: You are probably in more danger from your fellow drivers on your daily commute, assuming that you have one. Try not to think about it too much, and enjoy your vacation.

Rita: Welcome. God's got that three-ply super-power going; omniscient, omnipresent and omnivorous, no wait, all powerful or something. So even though, "lucky" would be not having something like this happen, God behaves like an 8-year old with an ant farm and a magnifying glass because he wants you to know how easy it is to screw you. So anyway, he knew before it happened that it was only going to happen sort-of. He builds skyscrapers on Jupiter out of toothpicks too, just because he can. Don't believe me? Bet you can't prove he doesn't! ;-)

In case you haven't figured it out, I let other people battle illogic with logic these days. I believe in fighting fire with fire. That always made sense too!

 
At 6:06 PM, Anonymous Rita said...

yeah, it's me. :)i decided to quit blogging so I shut my blog down for a little bit. I missed it badly, but when I started it back up I changed my avatar but kept the same url. Like God I had reason for doing it that way but my logic was just as flawed.

 
At 1:47 PM, Blogger george.w said...

It was miraculous, in the sense of "inspiring wonder and admiration". But no violations of natural law were involved. From the airplane engineers to the pilot who also happened to be a sailplane hobbyist, it was all very down-to-Earth... gently.

 

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