Thursday, January 15, 2009

A Miracle Near 34th Street

US Airways Flight 1549 Crashes into Hudson River

As most New Yorkers, Jersey residents and many folks across this nation wonder and fret over Brett and the fate of the NY Jets and other sport "heroes" meet a true hero; Chesley B. "Sully" Sullenberger, III. Sully was the pilot of US Airways flight 1549 out of LaGuardia.

Perhaps, Mayor Bloomberg will invite the crew of US Airways Flight 1549 to parade along the Canyon of the Heroes and give the key to the city to Captain Chelsey Sullenberger. A far more fitting tribute than those bestowed upon the false heroes of the sports world.

At approximately 1526 hours, Eastern Time, US Airways flight 1549 took off from LaGuardia Airport. Early reports indicate that a flock of geese struck the plane as it ascended to 3,000 feet, taking out both engines. During times of crisis, character is defined. The character of the pilot is not in question; in fact, it is aptly defined as heroic.

Captain Chelsey Sullenberger, a former US Air Force Fighter Pilot guided the belly of the jet with the nose upward into the frigid Hudson, which allowed the plane to stay afloat as designed.

The captain and crew made the rapid decision not to attempt the glide over to Teterboro airport or any other impromptu strip. The only decision left was the determined crash landing into the watery strip of the icy Hudson River.

The US Airways crew went into action as emergency protocol was activated. Exits opened, flotation devices deployed and the evacuation commenced. Within minutes private and emergency responders arrived to assist and rescue.

Not only did the captain go down with the ship, Captain Sullenberger also walked the plane twice ensuring no one was left behind. If only school bus drivers had a tenth of Sully’s diligence.

A common trend among the passengers, approximately 155 with crew, was audible prayers. I wonder how many atheists converted this day.

US Airways flight 1549 hit the New Jersey side of the Hudson River near the USS Intrepid on the West Side of Manhattan. Miraculously, reports indicate all human life remained intact with no life threatening injuries.

Individuals who believe they may have family members on board flight 1549 may call US Airways at 1-800-679-8215.

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