Thursday, January 15, 2009

Miracle on the Hudson

As the world by now knows U.S. Airways Flight 1549 from New York to Charlotte crash landed in the Hudson River shortly after take off from LaGuardia. A flock of geese somehow managed to destroy both engines. Astonishing all 150 passengers and five crew members survived.

New York Governor David Paterson described today's event as "The Miracle on the Hudson."

Yet the miracle could not have come to be without skill and preparation. The pilot, Chelsey Sullenberger, has been widely praised for the landing and for his cool demeanor on the flight. He's been a commercial pilot for 28 years and previous to that had been in the U.S. Air Force. The flight crew also did its job in getting the passengers off the plane safely. Their training sure paid off. New York Waterways ferries had the plane surrounded within minutes. Their personnel rescued people from the water and transported them back to land. In the post-9/11 environment, New York Waterways and other agencies had been practicing for such an event and today practice made perfect.

There is much bad in and about the world. Yet every so often we can score one for humanity. Today was surely one of those occasions.

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