Friday, January 16, 2009

Miracle on the Hudson

A highly experienced pilot and crew put to use all of their training. A fleet of boats shows up within minutes. Not a single person was lost, many barely got their feet wet. It's a truly amazing coming together of capable and dedicated people and events. Not to mention a plane that evidently floats better than it flies.

Inevitably, people on the scene and people watching and opining are calling it a miracle, and thanking God.


Know what I'd call a miracle? How about if God hadn't tossed a bunch of geese into the engines in the first place?

Just asking.



  1. Good Point Dr. Smarty Pants...and where were those Geese the morning of September 11th, 2001?? could have saved 3,000 lives and prevented a war...

  2. Frankie: possibly your most cogent comment to date.

  3. Aren't you glad that a seasoned,well trained pilot was at the helm rather than a pilot's assistant?

  4. j.g: I take your point. Will others?

  5. I have to blab.

    There is no such thing as a 'pilot's assistant'. There are Captains and First Officers on a 2 man flight deck.

    In the case of this flight, the Captain was an older gentleman and there's nothing wrong with that. He did an amazing job (along with his First Officer aka co-pilot).

    Now, I could go on and on about why the age of a pilot or his title has nothing to do with his experience, that's just not how the aviation industry works, but I won't. I'll just keep it short.

    Have any of you been on a flight where the 'co-pilot' is older than the Captain? I have. I used to think...."wow..the young guy must be really good" or "what's up with the older guy?"

    Then, I started dating a pilot (11 years ago. We're hitched) . I pay attention. Age and/or experience has nothing to do with who's in the driver's seat or who's riding shotgun. It all has to do with who was hired first at any airline.

    Example: XYZ Airline is hiring.

    Applicant A meets all the minimum requirements and gets hired on May 8th.

    Applicant B meets all the requirements and then some, but he gets hired on May 9th.

    Applicant A has more seniority than B does automatically.

    Applicant A has 500 hours of flight time.

    Applicant B has 10,000 hours.

    Applicant A will be 'Captain' before B will.

    So, low hour guy is the Captain and high hour guy is the First Officer.

    It's pretty screwed up, basically.


    It was a miracle that things happened as they did and that no one was seriously injured.

    It was upsetting to me for numerous reasons.

    The fact that it happened.

    Do we know any of the flight crew? (glued to the news with our phone trees working)

    And the one that always gets me....I lived 10 miles from where Flight 232 crash landed back in 1989...then I wind up married to a pilot....What.The.Fuck.

    For me, it was the start of an incredible distraction from Dubya's "Walking the Green Mile speech". (umm yea...and just where is Percy with his dry sponge?)

    Not that I was going to watch anyway, but before it started, I had my own distraction.

    It's on my website. It's not very detailed, but it took me hours of 'in the chair, out of the chair, type a sentence, post a a picture' before I was able to make it sound somewhat lucid.

    After having said all that...
    ......I think I'm just going to heat up some leftover pizza, check to see my daughter and Grandkids are sleeping soundly, curl up in bed and fall asleep watching TruTV and having lots to be thankful for in my prayers.

    Including the fact that it's only 3 more days to Inauguration.


  6. It's not such a miracle from the perspective of the geese, I bet. Maybe the sky fairy doesn't care about the whole of "his" creation?

  7. kristi: I think you missed james gaulte's point. Like me he's a retired doc. He was suggesting, I infer, an analogy to the trends in medicine, where physicians' assistants are deemed as qualified as docs. Until, perhaps, the engines flame out.

  8. Exactly Sid,and your phrase "until the engines flame out" really nails it.

  9. How come the pilot wasn't shown on TV? Just his picture?

  10. See one. Do one. Teach one.

    The passengers and crew are fortunate that they got "that one".

    What's interesting to me is that the air traffic controller blogs are all silent on this. Why? Because they ALL deal with crisis situations as a routine part of their jobs.

    The ditching is different, but their role in it is routine.

    I correspond with the past president of NATCA, and I had to ask him to write about what happens behind the curtains at Oz during events such as this. It didn't occur to him that we all don't know....


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