Friday, January 16, 2009

Major Airlines: Take Note

In reading all of the accounts of yesterday's horrific landing of US Air Flight 1549 from LaGuardia to Charlotte - I hope major airlines gleaned an important detail.

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.


a. @ coterie said...

It's surreal. As someone who lived & worked in NYC on 9/11 these events never fail to amaze me. Thank God for a pilot with experience - the whole story of how he walked the plane to make everyone was out still gives me goosebumps.

BLC :o said...

A, that is amazing, I didn't know. Thanks for sharing NRW. A family friend was aboard and we are thrilled he is okay. I mean, talk about a miracle. Xoxo-BLC

GrannySmithGreen said...

I couldn't agree more. I want experience! Thank you God, for their safe trip!

Scottie Mom said...

Three cheers for the value of age and experience! And for a pilot who showed what everyone what a hero is!

Ned said...

Yes to everything you said!

PaperCourt said...

Amen! It is truly amazing!

thepreppyprincess said...

Thank you, Thank you, a thousand "Thank Yous" for this. You are *so* spot-on, and it saves us doing the same thing.

Having covered a number of crashes with lots of fatalities (CAL 1713, UAL 232, a third one I can't even remember), once getting to the scene before most of the first-responders, there is nothing that transcends time in the chair. Period. You rock.

Hope your weekend is splendid!