Monday, January 19, 2009

Good news, a bit later than it should be

I considered skipping this news story after I let it sit for a few days, but somehow I just couldn't let it go. The series of events was just the kind of thing that I want to remember. It makes me proud to be a human being.

After a mishap on takeoff, an airplane loses its engine.
The pilot (Chesley B. Sullenberger, III) glides it to a hard (but pretty darn safe) landing on the Hudson River.
sully(image: ProJo)

There are only minor injuries. The 155 passengers do not panic, but exit the plane and wait on the wings for rescue. Capt. Sullenberger stayed aboard the sinking plane to walk the aisle - twice - to make sure no passenger was left behind before he exited the aircraft.
iReporter Julie Pukelis used a camera and a telescope to get this view of the scene in the river. (image: CNN)

Within minutes local boaters of every description are there to pick up the passengers and bring them to safety.
Cue local interest: the Block Island-Newport ferry Athena picked up 19 people, including the aforementioned pilot.
Ferry Athena (image: ProJo)

The flight crew will receive the key to the city in New York soon, and Capt. Sullenberger gets to take his family to President Obama's inauguration.

This is one of those stories we'll be talking about for years when looking for examples of grace under pressure and the heroism of ordinary citizens.

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