I want to be clear at the outset of this post that I’m glad no one died in this incident, and that the injuries sustained were mostly minor. The incident could have been much worse, and it’s thanks to everyone involved—both passengers and crew—that things went as smoothly as they did.
That having been said, I don’t understand why the crew of US Airways Flight 1549, and Captain Sullenberger in particular, are getting what I feel are undue heaps of praise. I’m not saying their actions aren’t worthy of recognition, but let’s be honest, they were doing their jobs. Granted, they were doing them under fairly extreme conditions, but part of the training to work on a commercial airliner (especially since 2001) is disaster preparedness.
The Guild of Air Pilots and Air Navigators, which awarded the crew its Master’s Medal, even acknowledged this, calling their actions, “text book.” However, the guild went on to to say, “to have safely executed this emergency ditching and evacuation, with the loss of no lives, is a heroic and unique aviation achievement.” A unique aviation achievement? While I have no links to back me up, I’m sure that history is littered with emergency landings where no lives were lost.
Yes, our country has had a tumultuous relationship with the aviation disasters in the recent past. Yes, this situation could have been much worse if not for the actions of the crew. However, there are millions of people who work under extreme conditions every day, many of whom are responsible for the lives of others, and none of whom receive such grandiose accolades for their work.0 People like this. Be the first!