The experience of age.
The pilot, Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger of Danville, Calif has 40 years of varied flight experience. An Air Force Academy grad, who flew F-4 fighter planes, he has 29 years of flying time with US Airways. In addition, he is an airline safety expert who has consulted with NASA and other organizations.
It's not uncommon in today's poorly managed airline industry for pilots with the experience (and salary) of Captain Sullenbeger to be forced into early retirement and faced with evaporated hard-earned pensions.
I for one, am willing to sacrifice warm Diet Coke and pretzels and pony up an extra $25 for the likes of Captain Sullenberger to remain employed and enjoy a rewarding pension upon retirement. A seasoned pilot who can land a damn Airbus on a river, surrounded by one of the world's most densely populated major metropolitan areas is worth his weight in gold. Or American dollars.So put him on the luggage scale and let me know - along with the countless other pilots who have the knowledge and experience to keep us alive in times of crisis in the air.
They are payed to know what to do when things go horribly wrong - not to make sure we make our connection in Cincinnati in enough time to hit the Cinnabon. There is no greater example of this than yesterday's incredible outcome.
Blessings to Captain Sullenberger and I only hope my next flight is in the back of a plane handled by someone as equally poised and knowledgeable.
We now return to your regularly scheduled program.