Sunday, January 18, 2009

A Pilot's Pilot.

I cannot let the week go by without mention of this man, Captain Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger.

Everyone in the world knows the story: The aversion of tragedy in the capable, calm and courageous hands of this man. He will tell you it was nothing, that he was just doing his job.

My husband is a hobbyist pilot who, the day before this incident, flew his Cessna 172 down to Florida for a few days of R&R. He says he has made dozens of water landings, but it is much, much easier in a seaplane.

Pilot humor.

Kudos and fan clubs and all that to pilot and crew and all involved in the rescue. (Yes, I joined his fan club because I am a dork and I think he's awesome.)


Raina Cox said...

I've been waiting for an Obama whistle-stop post from you. Did you go see him when Biden was picked up?!?

Did ya, huh?!?

hello gorgeous said...


You know the husband-Pilot mentioned in this post? The one sunbathing and lollygagging in Florida while his wife toiled and sweated painting their bedroom? Uh huh, that one?

Well, he took scheduled air back from Fla. and needed to be picked up in Philly at the airport at approx. the same time as the train got into Wilmington.

It was a tough choice: Hubs, Obama, Hubs, Obama. Hubs nearly lost. And I think wishes he had after the ice-cold greeting he got. And I am not talking about the weather.


hello gorgeous said...

I was there for his speech back in February or whenever that was. Does that redeem me at all?

Raina Cox said...

Well, that's pretty fabulous.

I figured you had to be out of town not to post about it. Hubsters owes you big time.

Anonymous said...

Just a quick post to join in the cheers for this guy. I have a seaplane rating and about 250 hours of seaplane time, and I can tell you that this is not easy stuff even for a pilot trained in the subject matter and in an aircraft specifically designed for the purpose of landing on the wet stuff. At low gross weight and modest approach speeds, it is one thing. At 77 metric tons, an approach speed of 130-150 knots, and neither a hull nor floats on which to stabilize the machine when down and still streaking ahead at 100+ kts, it is quite another. To say nothing of the 150+ souls just behind the door who will live or die. My guess is that he spent his last 500 or so feet of altitude in a steep dive to build airspeed for the flare and touchdown (which would have decreased his descent rate during the last few seconds of flight and therefore his impact velocity [it is a often misunderstood fact that the way to save a power-out aircraft is to push the nose down - not up - against all basic human instinct, to maintain airspeed and therefore lift). Whatever he did, he did it brilliantly. Nothing but respect from over here.

And yes, I owe hello gorgeous big time...

Raina Cox said...

How very cool to get an expert's assessment. Thanks for sharing that.

hello gorgeous said...

"And yes, I owe hello gorgeous big time..."

You have no idea how pleased I am to have that in writing.

Anonymous said...

My pleasure, Raina.

Forgot to mention that this guy did all of this starting at a mere 3000 feet over Manhattan, for crying out loud. He split the towers of the GW at 400 feet above the road surface, eyewitnesses reported. A fully laden commercial jet glides like a brick thrown at the horizon. It was just a breathtaking job of piloting. I have flown the Hudson River VFR corridor many times in my wee little 172, and even that is a high-stress situation. I would fly with this guy anywhere, anytime.

Let us all thank God that this did not happen at night. It is difficult to judge one's altitude above a watercourse during the day. At night, virtually impossible.

Anonymous said...

HG, your hubby sounds kind of awesome. I guess it's ok that you chose him over Obama... I guess.

hello gorgeous said...

Oh, don't worry Erin, he is still paying... :-)

Last night it was buying groceries and making dinner, tonight I think footrubs are in order.

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