Today is the tenth anniversary of the “Miracle on the Hudson.” The day when pilot Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger and First Officer Jeffrey Skiles lost both engines to bird strikes shortly after take-off from La Guardia Airport and safely landed their passenger jet in the Hudson River, saving the lives of all 155 people aboard the flight. You’ll hear a lot about it today. While I was not aboard I did and still do live in New York City and have three favorite bits.
The first is the fact that he flew right over my apartment on his route to safety. We had no idea at first until we saw news reports later but his path took them right over our building. Glad he missed us and found the river instead.
Second, I was working in Chelsea on that day and was subscribed to a feed from the city of New York that texted emergency notifications (like street closures and police actions). I received a simple tweet that said “Plane down in the Hudson River. Details to follow.” I followed the rest on the New York Times website as emergency responders had their hands full and could not text further.
Finally I love the report that as he was doing a last check of the cabin, water up to his knees, when a woman evacuating said to him “Thank you for saving us.” He replied, “Your welcome” and continued on his walk to look for stragglers. I miss simple, honest, talented, worthy heroes who go about their business with humility and purpose. Sigh.