Before this past Thursday, all the talk in the country was over the economy, and the Obama inaugural. Plane crashes in New York were not so much a focus or a worry, unlike in past years. But the crash of U.S. Airways Flight 1549 could have been an event that brought the country down even further, and put a damper on the history to come next week. However, everyone survived, so now the country is a bit more hopeful. Pilot C.B. ‘Sully’ Sullenberger is getting a lot of the credit for that.
C.B. Sully Sullenberger started out the week as an obscure pilot, much like the plane he was flying that day. Sullenberger had spent most of his life in the air, which included a stint in the Air Force. The 57-year-old Sullenberger came from Danville, California as a career pilot, with experience in safety matters, being a glider pilot, and being the boss of his own company.
Most Americans have found all of this out over the last two days because of C.B. Sully Sullenberger’s action on U.S. Airways 1549. When the engines went down due to crashing into a flock of birds after takeoff, the worst seemed assured. Passengers only had a few minutes to get ready for a crash, which could have taken place on the ground somewhere where many more would die.
Instead, Sullenberger is credited with being calm and collected as he made his way towards the Hudson River for an emergency landing. Sullenberger brought U.S. Airways 1549 down safely in the water, in such a matter that no one died.
As such, ferries were able to act quick to bring Sullenberger’s passengers out of the water, alive and only injured. Since then, the last 48 hours have turned the crash of U.S. Airways 1549 into an almost mythical account of heroism – and of Sullenberger’s heroism, in particular.
Sullenberger’s wife, Lorrie, is even being highlighted. Mrs. Sullenberger was interviewed by The Early Show this morning, where she hinted that the Sullenbergers are in talks to attend Barack Obama’s inauguration on Tuesday.
Sullenberger’s actions certainly prevented the Obama inauguration from being held on a dark cloud, and may indeed have helped promote their notion that a new era of hope and change is starting.
If Sullenberger had failed, U.S. Airways 1549 would probably be held up as the final event of disaster in the Bush era. Instead, Sullenberger is the new hero of the moment, with calls from Bush and Obama and an upcoming key to the city from New York.
C.B. Sully Sullenberger himself is unable to speak on his new fame yet, as he is still sequestered during the investigation of the crash.
NYMag- “Meet C.B. ‘Sully’ Sullenberger” nymag.com/daily/intel/2009/01/meet_cb_sully_sullenberger.html
Seattle P.I.- “HOPE, HEROES & MIRACLES- There’s Proof- All Is Not Lost, Stay Hopeful” blog.seattlepi.nwsource.com/eastsideinside/archives/159726.asp
CBS News- “Hero Pilot, Family Going To Inauguration?” www.cbsnews.com/stories/2009/01/17/earlyshow/main4729438.shtml