Saturday, January 17, 2009

Miracle on the Hudson

As I learn more about the recent plane accident that occurred in New York referred to as the "Miracle on the Hudson", I've thought a lot about the pilot and how one person can make a difference. He was prepared and he remained calm.

Quoting from a story by Erin McClam on the Associated Press: The pilot,
"Chesley Sullenberger spent practically his whole life preparing for the five-minute crucible that was US Airways Flight 1549." ...

"On Thursday afternoon, as Sullenberger banked his crippled Airbus A320 left over the Bronx, steered it over the George Washington Bridge and down the Hudson River, his life and 154 others depended on his expertise. The jet's twin engines had apparently been disabled by a collision with a flock of birds."
It truly was a miracle that no lives were lost. I also believe his life-long preparation played an important role in his own and others' survival. He was able to remain calm because he was prepared.

A passenger shared how the pilot's calmness affected him and others:

"The cabin was almost completely silent when Sullenberger came on the intercom seconds before the plane hit water."

"I can tell you verbatim: `Brace for impact,'" said Mark Hood of Charlotte, N.C., who was flying home after a work trip. "He said it in a calm, cool, controlled voice. It was a testament to leadership."

"Had he let any tension leak into his voice," Hood said, "it would have been magnified in the passengers."

I was also impressed how the pilot was the last one out of the plane, making sure everyone was safely out. He was also the last one off the rescue raft. His calm, clear thinking enabled him to help others and save lives.

What can I learn from all this?
  • Life happens, so do miracles
  • Be prepared
  • Stay calm
  • Preparedness brings peace
(Sources: Me, "Pilot's Life Had Prepared Him for 'Miracle Flight", by Erin McClam, Associated Press)


lady jane said...

This is indeed a miracle. :o)

This pilot was an Air Force Fighter pilot (A4 I believe). My husband was a Naval Aviator and said that his emergency landing training kicked in and saved the day.

Wonderful. Can you imagine how proud his wife and daughters are?

Anonymous said...

It was wonderful to have the media express the miracle as well. He is indeed a good example of being prepared and staying calm.

Being a good example speaks louder than anything we can say.

K P said...

Thank you both for taking time to share your thoughts!