Thursday, January 22, 2009

Miracle on the Hudson River

What happened on the Hudson River in NYC is one of my greatest fears. I have a plain fear of flying…or really a plane fear of crashing.

Before I board an aircraft, I look for the crew. I want to get a good look at the people who are responsible for my life up there in the friendly skies. Do they look like experienced, smart people? Wait, the co-pilot looks like he just graduated from high school. Are they walking steady? Which one is the pilot? Wait, didn’t I just see him in the bar. I’d recognize those sideburns anywhere.

My biggest problem flying is listening too closely to the plane…especially the sound of the engine. When the engine changes sounds…I wonder: Is it supposed to do that? When I hear a bump or a thump I immediately look for a flight attendant to see her reaction. Did her eyes just get bigger? Or I look to the seasoned business traveler. If he doesn’t move the newspaper he’s reading…I’m set. But most times I’m screaming…in my head… “What is that sound?”

Then I resort to prayer… “Dear Lord, I pray that the pilot is well-trained, experienced and not addicted to prescription drugs. That he hasn’t just had a monster fight with his wife…or that she hasn’t just called to ask for a divorce, the house and their life savings…and that his 2.5 kids aren’t irritating him. Dear God, give the pilot the ability to handle any crisis...snow, sleet, fog, electrical failures, birds.”

Some are saying the pilot, Chesley ‘Sully’ Sullenberger, is a hero and I couldn’t agree more. I want a pilot just like him on my next flight. I wonder if US Airways will let me look at his flight schedule. The other hero in this story is the Hudson River. If Sully was taking off from Kansas City and his plane had a double bird strike there…what then? IDK…maybe he’s good at cornfield landings too. They say Sully was the last person off the plane. Heck, Sully didn’t even practice FIFO…First in, First out. I guess accounting terms don’t apply to pilots.

The ending of the Miracle on the Hudson...does not get any better than it did. I’m not surprised that the next morning, movie producers were already scrambling for the rights to the story. I wonder who they would want to play the pilot. Tom Cruise…cuz he looks good in a uniform? Leonardo Di Caprio …cuz he once played a pilot? (Wait, he was a con artist pilot.) Con artist pilots…Now I am really scared.

One thing for sure…I could play the crazy lady in the back of the plane screaming her head off…with intermittent crying jags, flailing arms, head banging, and continuous prayers and Hail Mary’s. I would be perfect for that role. One request though…No dress rehearsals. PLEASE GOD…no dress rehearsals!!!!!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Don't forget the typical stellar response of FDNY, NYPD, EMS, and NY Waterway ferries, the first of which was commandeered by Ladder Company 21 (whose firehouse you and your family had the privilege to visit). NYC, among other things, is the only place to have your next calamity. Say Hi to Sistersledge for us. Obviously, she doesn't blow smoke, which is what sisters are for. I know, I have five...