Recently I read that Chesley Sullenberger is going to write a book, and that’s a book I’ll check out.

Now, I know that you know who Captain Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger III is. But because I love this story, I’m going to enjoy the pleasure of recounting it for you.

Captain Sullenberger is the pilot who safely landed his U.S. Airways airliner on the Hudson River in New York on January 15 after both engines lost power. His decisions and his actions and his mastery saved the lives of all 155 people on board – 150 passengers and five crew members.

If you’ve seen the video of the plane as it glides toward the water, it looks like this is something Captain Sullenberger does every day: Wings level, airplane nose slightly up, then tail slicing the water, the nose comes down and – in the river. Or rather, on the river. All in one piece. Did you know that the plane’s estimated speed at touch down was 172 mph?

I will never forget the photos of the passengers standing on the wings as the plane floated on the river. I will never forget hearing that after every passenger was out of the aircraft, Captain Sullenberger walked the entire length of the aircraft interior – twice – to be sure no one had been left behind. And I will never forget hearing him say in interviews, “We just did what we train to do.”

Of course Captain Sullenberger doesn’t land jet aircraft on the water every day. But he practices and trains and practices and trains so if the time ever came – as it did on January 15 – he would be prepared. And he was absolutely prepared. He was prepared, he was focused, he was calm, he was in control. You think your job or my job is stressful? Let’s think about landing an aircraft weighing 80+ tons, with 155 people on board, moving at 172 mph, on (not in) a river.

The airline industry called it a “water landing.” The world called it the “Miracle On The Hudson River.” I agree that what happened that day was a miracle, but I also call it mastery. Captain Sullenberger’s mastery of his craft – and his aircraft is a model we all can aspire to.

Let’s reach for it together, shall we?

Mark Fidgett | Create Your Badge

Take care,

Mark Fidgett
“Your Personal Mortgage Consultant….For Life!”

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