Sunday, January 25, 2009

Capt. "Sully": A Man of Few Words!

Update: 01/29/08
He and the crew of U.S. Airways, Flight 1549 bound for Charlotte, NC, executed a perfect emergency splash-down of the crippled Airbus 320 on the frigid waters of the Hudson River at mid-afternoon on January 15, 2009, and then successfully ordered and carried out the evacuation of all 155 passengers and crew on board the plane, who all were plucked from the river by ferries and emergency water craft. Everyone made it.

At a hero's welcome and good old-fashioned hometown parade held out in Danville, California this past week for a smiling Captain Chesley B. Sullenberger, III, the crowd cheered for their hero (and ours), chanting, "Sully, Sully, Sully . . . ." He was embarrassed. In introducing her husband, his lovely wife Lorrie said that her breath (and his) were both taken away when they came around the corner saw the local crowd. Ours were taken away too by what he did!

After she tearfully introduced him, Sully expressed gratitude, on behalf of Lorrie and himself to the homecoming crowd for their warm and enthusiastic reception, and told them how great it was great to be home in Danville.

Then he confined his remarks to the following:
"Circumstance determined that it was this experienced crew that was scheduled to fly that particular flight on that particular day.

But I know I can speak for the entire crew when I tell you, we were simply doing the jobs we were trained to do. Thank you."

That was it. But what he didn't say was that he has devoted his entire career, as an air safety expert and as a teacher of air safety to countless others, preparing for that very unlikely instant. And, as noted in a New York Times story about the man, the 1973 graduate of the Air Force Academy
"received the Outstanding Cadet in Airmanship Award, given to the top flier in each graduating class."
A reciprocal correlation in time and space, defying the odds. Circumstances!

The fact is that he and the crew are the "cup of tea" of the American people, too! So much so, in fact, that the story attracted more interest (h.t. Allahpundit at HotAir) from January 16th through the 19th than each of all the other top stories, including the 1) economy, 2) the Presidential inaugural preparations, and 3) the events in Gaza.

The headline on the story may say it was equal to the interest in the economy, but check the numbers! This story was number one.

Americans simply couldn't get enough of it!

John Milton once had the choir recite:
"For evil news rides post, while good news baits."*
The modern version is the old wheeze:
"Good news doesn't sell newspapers."
Not this time! This one beat everything!

* Sampson Antagonistes, Act II, scene 1 (line 1538).

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