For the year 2009, I believe the only event that could top this one would be landing a man (preferably me) on the planet Mars. I think the last thing that President Bush should do before he leaves office is award this man, US Airways Capt Chelsey Sullenberger the Presidential Citizen’s Medal or maybe even the Presidential Medal of Honor (the Congressional Medal of Honor is the one for military members only, and although Capt Sullenberger is a veteran USAF F-4 fighter pilot, he’s not really eligible for that award, nor would it be appropriate in this situation).
Great going, Capt Sullenberger! You handled a difficult emergency procedure well. You know what they say, any landing you can walk away from. . . .
Perhaps the new Sullenberger Corollary to that rule would be ". . . or the passengers and you can swim or boat away from. . ." is a good landing! The best part was walking up and down the aisles making certain everyone else was off safe.
Given the good outcome, I think it might actually have been fun to have been aboard (except I would have ended up losing my laptop as I egressed the plane). Oh, well. One can’t be everywhere. I’ll have to settle for the one time I pointed out to some pilots that our small turboprop passenger plane’s cabin pressure wasn’t enabled.
Thanks to LifePundit for inspiring me to write this post!
20090119 Update: I am remiss in not giving credit to the co-pilot, the flight attendants, and indeed to the passengers who by all accounts sounded like they remained pretty calm during the event. The Captain may get most of the credit, but the Airbus is a crewed airplane, and whatever the crew did or did not do that helped the Captain land entitles them to an heroic part in this event as well.