Video: Most popular man in America finally speaks

posted at 7:42 pm on January 24, 2009 by Allahpundit

No, not Obama. Unlike The One, this guy really can work miracles.

Here’s his first public comment on the flight, from today’s homecoming parade in Danville, California. Like most heroes, he’s a man of few words. Exit question: Just how interested is America in this story? Dude.



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God bless Cpt. Scully. A true American Hero!

milwife88 on January 24, 2009 at 7:46 PM

He did what he had to do and saved lives in the process. THAT is a true miracle worker.

ScoopPC11 on January 24, 2009 at 7:46 PM

Having the two photos, Obama on the Left, and Capt. Sullenberger on the Right seems apt.

One trying to hustle America, one just doing his job in the best manner he could muster.

coldwarrior on January 24, 2009 at 7:49 PM

Fantastic…best thing that has happened so far this year. And yes, REAL heros don’t say much, but what they do say actually means something…phonies talk endlessly and never say anything worth remembering.

AUINSC on January 24, 2009 at 7:53 PM

“But I know I can speak for the entire crew when I tell you we were simply doing the job we were trained to do.”

That’s the way heroes talk. How many, many times have we heard similar things from our military, police, firemen, and others who have saved lives and then turned around and said, “I was doing the job I trained to do”??????

INC on January 24, 2009 at 7:54 PM

AUINSC,

That’s exactly my point! I was typing my comment while yours was posted.

INC on January 24, 2009 at 7:54 PM

The week was dominated by infantile media gushing over an unaccomplished political poseur. The amazing Captain Sullenberger is a welcome counterpoint.

Cicero43 on January 24, 2009 at 7:54 PM

Scully 2012!

*After his polictial positions have been understood

ThePrez on January 24, 2009 at 7:55 PM

Oops, it`s Sullenberger?

Sullenberger 2012 then!

ThePrez on January 24, 2009 at 7:56 PM

Impressive feat that saved lives. Congratulations sir.

Hog Wild on January 24, 2009 at 7:57 PM

God bless Cpt. Scully. A true American Hero!

milwife88 on January 24, 2009 at 7:46 PM

+7%………

…….. I would only add, let him go home to his wife and family, let him live in private and piece, and enjoy the miracle of being alive.

It’s amazing to see the caliber of a man, who can hold his cool, rely on his extensive training, stay calm when things go amiss, put others before him, double check on any left behind, and sign up to do it all over again without looking for applause………… an Emmy……….. or an elected cabinet position.

………. what’s even more impressive is that our skies our filled with pilots with the caliber of Cpt. Scully,

………… God Bless them All!

Seven Percent Solution on January 24, 2009 at 7:59 PM

Kaptain salutes the Captain and his crew… job well done.

Kaptain Amerika on January 24, 2009 at 8:02 PM

“But I know I can speak for the entire crew when I tell you we were simply doing the job we were trained to do.”

Compare rhetoric to that to Obama’s narcissistic piffle, “We are the ones we have been waiting for.” Or the drivel about the oceans receding and the planet beginning to heal.

Wethal on January 24, 2009 at 8:04 PM

I wanted to reach out and hug his wife, and shake his hand! So proud of them.

ProudPalinFan on January 24, 2009 at 8:10 PM

Seven Percent Solution on January 24, 2009 at 7:59 PM

Wethal on January 24, 2009 at 8:04 PM

This is the major disconnect between Americans and Politicians.
Who will save the repubic? You make the call.

katy on January 24, 2009 at 8:11 PM

Here’s his first public comment on the flight, from today’s homecoming parade in Danville, California. Like most heroes, he’s a man of few words. Exit question: Just how interested is America in this story? Dude.

Not surprising at all. Besides the amazing aspect of this story, Americans enjoy hearing good news at times like we’re in now.

So this guy saves 155 lives, yet had to be talked into agreeing to this ceremony (via Fox) and spoke for about 15 seconds. In that 15 seconds he reminded people about his crew and said he was only doing the job he was trained to.

Yet Obama hasn’t done crap and we have to hear about him going on and on and on about how wonderful he is.

amerpundit on January 24, 2009 at 8:11 PM

katy on January 24, 2009 at 8:11 PM

uh… that was republic… sorry… I got Mark Levin fevah..

katy on January 24, 2009 at 8:12 PM

Scully 2012!

*After his polictial positions have been understood

ThePrez on January 24, 2009 at 7:55 PM

Yeah, you might want to wait. The co-pilot and his wife campaigned for Obama.

SnarkVader on January 24, 2009 at 8:17 PM

Sully is also an Air Force veteran, which means that Jay Rockefeller probably wasn’t invited to this event.

Bishop on January 24, 2009 at 8:18 PM

They are wonderful peeps, in person they are the real deal. Thanks for posting this, I was not able to go to the festivities today.

bbz123 on January 24, 2009 at 8:22 PM

This guys saves Americans while Obama releases terrorists.

Antipodes alert!

profitsbeard on January 24, 2009 at 8:22 PM

Compare rhetoric to that to Obama’s narcissistic piffle, “We are the ones we have been waiting for.” Or the drivel about the oceans receding and the planet beginning to heal.

Wethal on January 24, 2009 at 8:04 PM

Good point. It’s like night and day.

sherry on January 24, 2009 at 8:24 PM

Yeah, you might want to wait. The co-pilot and his wife campaigned for Obama.

SnarkVader on January 24, 2009 at 8:17 PM

Not that it matters, but out of curiosity, where did you come by this information…I haven’t found anywhere yet where Sullenberger says that.

AUINSC on January 24, 2009 at 8:24 PM

Yet Obama hasn’t done crap and we have to hear about him going on and on and on about how wonderful he is.

amerpundit on January 24, 2009 at 8:11 PM

Because we’[ve gone from a culture that admires heroes to one that admires celebrities. A celebrity, I believe, is defined as someone who is famous for being famous.

Wethal on January 24, 2009 at 8:25 PM

Seven Percent Solution, Wethal, katy

Men and women who are walking around in the shoes of everyday Americans could give a lot of lessons on heroism to those arrogant poseurs that are walking the halls of Congress and the White House.

INC on January 24, 2009 at 8:26 PM

That’s exactly my point! I was typing my comment while yours was posted.

INC on January 24, 2009 at 7:54 PM

Yes, I agree and so will everybody else here…but it needs to be said again and again. With politicians grabbing the spotlight so much lately, it’s good to read about what an ‘ordinary’ person can accomplish when it matters the most.

AUINSC on January 24, 2009 at 8:28 PM

I cried. I’m not ashamed to admit it. This man is amazing and gracious.

And I do love the “I did my job as I was trained to” explanation. It’s gracious and not self-serving at all.

mjk on January 24, 2009 at 8:30 PM

Who will save the repubic? You make the call.

katy on January 24, 2009 at 8:11 PM

……….. I think a few of us have to remember what it means to be an “American” again,

Then you will have…………….. your answer.

I like this kid …………

Seven Percent Solution on January 24, 2009 at 8:33 PM

Yeah, you might want to wait. The co-pilot and his wife campaigned for Obama.

SnarkVader on January 24, 2009 at 8:17 PM

So? I work with lots of people who are polar opposites to my conservative political views.

IrishEyes on January 24, 2009 at 8:34 PM

We do have a few great people in California.

dragondrop on January 24, 2009 at 8:44 PM

A search for “Sullenberger” on opensecrets.com reveals no campaign donations.

AZfederalist on January 24, 2009 at 8:44 PM

Seems like a good guy who was just doing his job. Kinda like John McClane in Die Hard.

fiatboomer on January 24, 2009 at 8:45 PM

That last response was in response to the co-pilot campaign comment.

Captain Sullenberger deserves the accolades — it may be what he was trained to do, but when the chips came down, he exercised that training and didn’t freeze.

AZfederalist on January 24, 2009 at 8:46 PM

this guy really can work miracles.

AP, skeptic no longer!

jgapinoy on January 24, 2009 at 8:48 PM

A search for “Sullenberger” on opensecrets.com reveals no campaign donations.

AZfederalist on January 24, 2009 at 8:44 PM

Yeah, I just saw that too…this commenter was refering to Sully’s co-pilot, not Sully himself…total non-sequiter no matter how it’s sliced.

AUINSC on January 24, 2009 at 8:49 PM

Awesome landing,Capt’n Sullenberger is a real
hero,and this landing should of been celebrated!

Compared to the victims whinning on the Phil show!

canopfor on January 24, 2009 at 8:54 PM

100 actions had to go just right and he did it. AMAZING!

jukin on January 24, 2009 at 9:08 PM

Thanks for the link 7%. he is truly one great American

katy on January 24, 2009 at 9:14 PM

To hear the MSM tell it, Sullenburger is very Obama-like.

The “miracle on the Hudson” occurred because of Obama’s divine intervention don’t ‘cha know.

GarandFan on January 24, 2009 at 9:16 PM

We are looking for REAL AMERICAN heroes. Case closed.

stenwin77 on January 24, 2009 at 9:18 PM

Yeah, you might want to wait. The co-pilot and his wife campaigned for Obama.

SnarkVader on January 24, 2009 at 8:17 PM

And my boss is a total Obama disciple. But when you’re a grown up, you can work with people that you disagree with politically. Well, most people can…

mjk on January 24, 2009 at 9:32 PM

“But I know I can speak for the entire crew when I tell you we were simply doing the job we were trained to do.”

You did the job you were trained to do very well Sir. Congratulations

Dollayo on January 24, 2009 at 9:35 PM

He saved the lives of over what 150 people
he did something worthy of the praise
Like a fireman
or a policeman
or our fine soldiers

so i was admiring him mostly for his stance though
when the word hero was said he like most real heros
slightly lowered his head as if to say
No i am not that great..

Real humility.. you can see it..

I admit i dont have as much humility as this man
but i know one this is true
this man actually has the courage and experience in dire circumstances to save peoples lives

For this i am grateful..
at least he isnt an empty suit

jcila on January 24, 2009 at 9:35 PM

I was a paramedic for almost 14 years working in both Urban and rural EMS. I have heard Captain Sullenberger’s words virtually verbatim more times than I could count from EMS, Fire, Police, and Military people serving their fellow man. Serving is the operative word here. No amount of money or fame will can compensate these people in the avocations that place their life at risk. Only the feeling that you have made a difference in the life of another person, and a simple thanks make it worthwhile.

You can tell the real heroes, for they speak not of themselves but of others without whom this miracle would not have occurred. These men and women place the welfare of others before their own, knowing the price that it may cost them. Too bad more in our society, especially in the political arena do not see what is demonstrated daily by all that share what this captain has demonstrated so publicly.

rpercifield on January 24, 2009 at 9:36 PM

Man of few words? Yeah, he’s a Man of Action.

- The Cat

MirCat on January 24, 2009 at 9:36 PM

As long as this country can produce men and women of this character, it will endure.

Think about that.

irongrampa on January 24, 2009 at 9:58 PM

I hate to sound like a grouch, but this guy is NOT a hero. What he did was skilled, and it was good this guy was on this particular plane, but I think we can safely assume he wanted to come off of this plane in one piece, which is why he landed the plane as safely as possible- self preservation.

I just don’t see anything heroic about wanting to live and landing a plane safely to do so. I think it belittle true acts of heroism (where you risk your own life for others) to label Sullenberger a hero.

TheBlueSite on January 24, 2009 at 10:11 PM

Well done sir. Well Done.

RalphyBoy on January 24, 2009 at 10:18 PM

Scully 2012!

*After his polictial positions have been understood

ThePrez on January 24, 2009 at 7:55 PM

From the X-Files? I thought we were talking about the pilot, Sully, here…

Anyway, typo mocking aside:

PALIN/SULLY 2012!!!!!11!!!ONE11!!!one

RightWinged on January 24, 2009 at 10:21 PM

TheBlueSite

Uh, that’s weird. I thought he did risk his own life AND save others. The fact that he was so cool under such tremendous pressure AND courageous, that makes him a hero. He didn’t crack. If he landed that plane w/only himself on board, then your argument might be applicable, but he had alot of lives besides his own on the line and he delivered. That is a HERO. You are very strange, I think.

JAM on January 24, 2009 at 10:27 PM

I just don’t see anything heroic about wanting to live and landing a plane safely to do so. I think it belittle true acts of heroism (where you risk your own life for others) to label Sullenberger a hero.

He is humble enough to agree with you which is why he said that he and his crew were only doing what they were trained to do. My personal opinion is that the pilot and crew were heroes in the classic definition of the term. :)

However, even by YOUR extremely narrow criteria for heroism, Captain Sullenberger is STILL a hero. As water continued to rise in the cabin he walked the length of the plane twice to make sure no one was left aboard. He risked his life for the sake of his passengers.

Kirin on January 24, 2009 at 10:34 PM

TheBlueSite on January 24, 2009 at 10:11 PM

Whatever you say….(insert eyeroll here)

Knucklehead on January 24, 2009 at 10:38 PM

TheBlueSite

Self preservation would be getting off first, and only thinking of himself.

To walk back into a cabin that is submerged to check that all were evacuated is risking his life.

To be the last one to be removed from the water is risking his life.

He would say it was his job to do it. And yes it is his job, but this does not lessen the courage to do it.

rpercifield on January 24, 2009 at 10:38 PM

Great job sir to a real hero…not just some political hack that wrote a book…about HIMSELF!!!

sabbott on January 24, 2009 at 11:01 PM

Yet Obama hasn’t done crap and we have to hear about him going on and on and on about how wonderful he is.

amerpundit on January 24, 2009 at 8:11 PM

Yeah, I’ve never been so glad I discontinued my satellite service. I pick and choose what news coverage I watch, now that so much of it is online. So I still get to see great stuff like this … and I can skip all the Obamablather.

Rosmerta on January 24, 2009 at 11:21 PM

Oh, and actually, he has done crap – he’s revoked the Gag Rule already, and I’m sure lots more abortion-promoting actions are coming. Sigh…..

Rosmerta on January 24, 2009 at 11:22 PM

I hate to sound like a grouch, but this guy is NOT a hero. What he did was skilled, and it was good this guy was on this particular plane, but I think we can safely assume he wanted to come off of this plane in one piece, which is why he landed the plane as safely as possible- self preservation.

I just don’t see anything heroic about wanting to live and landing a plane safely to do so. I think it belittle true acts of heroism (where you risk your own life for others) to label Sullenberger a hero.

TheBlueSite on January 24, 2009 at 10:11 PM

It’s ok man..you don’t sound like a grouch at all…

you sound like a troll.

AUINSC on January 24, 2009 at 11:27 PM

I am from Danville, and can vouch for the awesomeness of the town. This man is truly a hero, and lives in the best place in the world (even if it is close to San Francisco).

jdoubleu on January 24, 2009 at 11:44 PM

A special thank you from someone whose relative was on that flight. Seriously, thank you very much.

Attila (Pillage Idiot) on January 24, 2009 at 11:57 PM

The flyboys get the hot babes. I’ve got to say for an amateur, that lady handled the media, and the microphone extremely well. Sully must be proud to have a sharp lady like that watching his back.

smellthecoffee on January 25, 2009 at 1:01 AM

No, not Obama. Unlike The One, this guy really can work miracles.

Line of this century. Thanks AP.

Entelechy on January 25, 2009 at 1:27 AM

I owe it all to Microsoft Flight Simulator!

Mr. Joe on January 25, 2009 at 1:35 AM

Sorry, my eight year old has been playing it all day long.

Mr. Joe on January 25, 2009 at 1:36 AM

Thanks to some of you who sort of proved my point. One can hardly dissent from the hero worship and instant celebrity regarding this story without being called “weird,” “strange,” and a “troll.” (you’ll notice America thinks this is as important as the massive economic woes that could actually sink the nation itself). NONE of the accounts suggest his life or even his safety were at risk when he walked the plane to make sure all had been safely removed. (You have to remember- people generally want not to be fired from their jobs or face lawsuits that would ruin their lives.)

My point was simply that his actions didn’t fit any classic definition of heroism (selfless acts of bravery to save others). He and the crew, in his own words, were simply “doing the job we were trained to do.” I’m guessing some people here think that any other person would just point the plane to the ground, scream “screw it all” and kill everyone on board. My guess is ANY trained pilot would have done the EXACT same thing.

Just as calling anyone who loves another person “married” belittles the institution of marriage, calling anyone a hero whether or not their actions fit any definition of heroism belittles true acts of heroism. Sullenberger himself seemed to recognize that fact with his words today, and I respect him even more for being so humble.

So much for dissent here.

TheBlueSite on January 25, 2009 at 1:44 AM

And thinking about it and to further my point- are there parades for the crew members, co-pilot, ferry boat crews, etc? Does anyone wonder how these people must feel with one guy getting the nonstop headlines and hero worship, when some of them did just as much and maybe more?

Does EVERY pilot who safely lands a broken plane become a hero? If not, why not? If the plane had landed safely in a corn field, would it have made national news?? Would we be having breaking news events in the pilot’s hometown?

Serious questions…It’s interesting to see which stories make the news and which one’s, though involving much more risk, never see any news play. Reminds me of the stories that call attention to the fact that the media seems to only obsessively cover stories involving missing attractive white women.

TheBlueSite on January 25, 2009 at 1:53 AM

TheBlueSite on January 25, 2009 at 1:53 AM

I agree with you.

DarkCurrent on January 25, 2009 at 2:07 AM

Exit question: Just how interested is America in this story? Dude.

It’s understandable. Who doesn’t want a hero to cheer in troubled times?

TheUnrepentantGeek on January 25, 2009 at 2:19 AM

Don’t say that. You’ll be called a weirdo. :) I’m not trying to be an ass, I just think we often toss words around that don’t fit because we think it’s nice to do so…but few wonder about the consequences of doing so. And I wonder about the media’s creation of heroes. I seriously don’t think a cornfield landing would have gotten any cable news play, and that pilot would be sitting at home alone tonight. Let’s say it was Sully , would he be bitter for not being proclaimed a hero?

One can argue Obama has done nothing (I’d argue he’s done very little of substance)…but some would argue it is, indeed, heroic to instead of going to a large law firm to make tens of millions, to decide to go and work with community leaders to make life better for others. If you sacrifice not your own life but millions of dollars, is that heroic? Would most Obama supporters argue that it is, indeed, heroic?

TheBlueSite on January 25, 2009 at 2:21 AM

TheBlueSite on January 25, 2009 at 2:21 AM

It was an admirable display of airmanship certainly. It was also admirable that he went back to check there were no remaining passengers inside, but this is his duty as PIC.

There are much more qualified pilots on HA that me. I’m curious to hear their take.

DarkCurrent on January 25, 2009 at 2:31 AM

some would argue it is, indeed, heroic to instead of going to a large law firm to make tens of millions, to decide to go and work with community leaders to make life better for others. If you sacrifice not your own life but millions of dollars, is that heroic? Would most Obama supporters argue that it is, indeed, heroic?

Fauxbama didn’t make life any better for others as a community organizer.
Research it.
Nor did he sacrifice “millions of dollars.”
He left the law firm and became a community organizer so he could tap into the Chicago political machine where he’s made…millions of dollars and become a state legislator, then a Senator and now POTUS
(His campaign has gotten and spent about $1 billion–what even the best lawyers make is chump change.)
These are not the actions of a hero, but of someone who is cunning, calculating and ambitious.
He’s never done his job or even had a job and he’s done almost nothing to help others while doing quite a bit to help himself and his political cronies.
Hero? Massive fail.

Jenfidel on January 25, 2009 at 2:56 AM

Trust me, I don’t think Obama is a hero either, but I have little doubt millions of his most ardent supporters would label him a hero.

TheBlueSite on January 25, 2009 at 3:10 AM

NONE of the accounts suggest his life or even his safety were at risk when he walked the plane to make sure all had been safely removed. (You have to remember- people generally want not to be fired from their jobs or face lawsuits that would ruin their lives.)

My point was simply that his actions didn’t fit any classic definition of heroism (selfless acts of bravery to save others).

Newsflash: Floating on the Hudson River in the middle of winter for longer than a few minutes is hazardous to your health.

Blue, you sure do spend lot of energie and effort trying to take away from that all people want to do is honor this man. What exactly do you gain by making your pedantic argument? (According to the dictionary definition, his *ability* and *noble qualities* indeed characterise heroism.) Especially considering that walking up and down the aisles twice does in fact entail some risk. It may sound like merely a sound idea to avoid over-torted attorneys, but there actually have been captains who let passengers go down whilst they scrambled to save their own bottoms. (I recall a ship in particular about ten years ago, but the have been others.)

Also, there are very few cornfields near Manhattan. However, there’s a sizeable bridge, LOTS of tall buildings and very LITTLE margin for error. That he chose to credit others and not pat himself on the back also speaks volumes more than any words can do.

fireweednectar on January 25, 2009 at 3:30 AM

some would argue it is, indeed, heroic to instead of going to a large law firm to make tens of millions, to decide to go and work with community leaders to make life better for others.

TheBlueSite on January 25, 2009 at 2:21 AM

Obama only spent 3 years as a community organizer before he grew frustrated with his lack of power. He has had political ambitions all his life, and thought that he could use his stint as an organizer to make connections that would advance his political career (in addition, no doubt, to wanting his resume to include some public-service type job(s) so that he could look good to the public when he made his inevitable run for office). After graduating law school, Obama took a job at Sidley & Austin, a large and prestigious law firm. That’s hardly the kind of job a new graduate accepts if he’s not looking to make money.

The only reason the Obama-idiots think he’s heroic is because they believe the pablum that has been fed to them by an Obama-besotted MSM. The truth about his life is far different from the myths he created in his fictionalized autobiographies, and that the MSM has happily perpetuated for him.

AZCoyote on January 25, 2009 at 7:00 AM

I just don’t see anything heroic about wanting to live and landing a plane safely to do so. I think it belittle true acts of heroism (where you risk your own life for others) to label Sullenberger a hero.

My point was simply that his actions didn’t fit any classic definition of heroism (selfless acts of bravery to save others).

TheBlueSite on January 24, 2009 at 10:11 PM

“Courage, honesty, bravery, selflessness, and the will to try are just a few of the overlooked qualities of a hero”

In time a great crisis, he, and he alone made the decisions that saved the lives of everyone aboard his ship. There is no question that he embodies each of the traits listed above.

By it’s simplest of definitions, your statement that he does not fit the criteria for a hero is incorrect. However, it is a good reflection of your own character.

And in my opinion, based upon the words you have written throughout this thread, I would define you as the classic example of an emotionally shallow, self-centered cynic.

Rod on January 25, 2009 at 8:43 AM

some would argue it is, indeed, heroic to instead of going to a large law firm to make tens of millions, to decide to go and work with community leaders to make life better for others. If you sacrifice not your own life but millions of dollars, is that heroic? Would most Obama supporters argue that it is, indeed, heroic?

Fauxbama didn’t make life any better for others as a community organizer.
Research it.
Nor did he sacrifice “millions of dollars.”
He left the law firm and became a community organizer so he could tap into the Chicago political machine where he’s made…millions of dollars and become a state legislator, then a Senator and now POTUS
(His campaign has gotten and spent about $1 billion–what even the best lawyers make is chump change.)
These are not the actions of a hero, but of someone who is cunning, calculating and ambitious.
He’s never done his job or even had a job and he’s done almost nothing to help others while doing quite a bit to help himself and his political cronies.
Hero? Massive fail.

Jenfidel on January 25, 2009 at 2:56 AM

Jenfidel — Well said!

Community Organizer = agitator

Dasher on January 25, 2009 at 9:18 AM

If nothing else, hopefully Saturday’s event will shut up Geraldo Rivera, who had that odious segment on O’Reilly Friday night insinuating that since Sullenberger hadn’t spoken to the media (i.e. — Geraldo) in a week since the incident, he must be hiding something and the incident must have been due to negligence on his part.

jon1979 on January 25, 2009 at 10:02 AM

He’s a real hero.

I wonder how long it will take for the Democrats to throw him under the bus???

Mojave Mark on January 25, 2009 at 11:02 AM

Sully – a man and hero of few words.

TheBlueSite – a person of too many words and silly arguments.

JAM on January 25, 2009 at 11:56 AM

Yeah, you might want to wait. The co-pilot and his wife campaigned for Obama.

SnarkVader on January 24, 2009 at 8:17 PM

That’s why he is just a co-pilot and not command material…a good back up, but not ready for leadership…leave that to the real men.

right2bright on January 25, 2009 at 12:05 PM

(i.e. — Geraldo) in a week since the incident, he must be hiding something and the incident must have been due to negligence on his part.

jon1979 on January 25, 2009 at 10:02 A

He was sequestered for a week by the authorities, even his wife didn’t have much contact…normal procedure when a major accident takes place.
A total de-briefing, it is a military thing, find out all the information before it is lost by memories or distorted interviews…of course if Geraldo has spent any real time with the military he would understand that, and a simple look at FAA regulation would expose that.

right2bright on January 25, 2009 at 12:08 PM

And in my opinion, based upon the words you have written throughout this thread, I would define you as the classic example of an emotionally shallow, self-centered cynic.

Rod on January 25, 2009 at 8:43 AM

…or he is just desperately seeking attention…

right2bright on January 25, 2009 at 12:10 PM

TheBlueSite

An interesting argument, flawed in two ways I think.

1 – Heroism is in the sight of the beholder. i.e. we call it heroism because it inspires others.

2 – Because it is the “job” of someone doesn’t take it out of the arena of heroism. Our troops must be considered heroes, and yet most, if not all, will tell you that they are just doing their job. The same is true of firemen. Because it’s a job doesn’t make it heroic.

Spirit of 1776 on January 25, 2009 at 12:31 PM

“make it NOT heroic”. Pardon my error.

Spirit of 1776 on January 25, 2009 at 12:31 PM

It is not so much that the pilot was a hero. He really did not have any choice, the crisis was forced on him. The only choice involving sacrifice was choosing the River over New Jersey, but even then the River was probably the safest choice for himself and the passengers. He had to do what he did to save himself and his passengers.

What he was is competent. We admire that in people. Those who do not freeze in a crisis, but act, and act well. The pilot had about three minutes from the bird strike to the landing to get that plane down without killing everyone on board and possibly scores of other people on the ground. And he did it. And we admire that. Because it is a very good thing.

And again, I am sure he owes it all to Microsoft Flight Simulator, which by the way you can repeat this flight (I am not sure they have the Airbus he was flying, but you can pick La Guardia and recreate the flight).

Mr. Joe on January 25, 2009 at 12:32 PM

Mr. TheBlueSite,

I do not know your background except from your web site. From what i can tell it appears that you and I have similar beliefs and stands. I know that this pilot and crew are heroes for many of the things listed above. Foremost is a willingness to place others ahead of themselves. If you think that they knew that the plane would stay floating in the Hudson you are very mistaken. There are many things that could have caused a massive failure and rapid sinking of the craft. You knew it would stay afloat only by hindsight. If there had been a failure of the structure, large wave, or collision from another craft when the captain was inspecting for passengers he would more than likely died. The water temperature would have incapacitated him rapidly and he would have went down in the aluminum coffin.

Many of the naysayers in this thread obviously have not had the responsibility of someone’s life in their hands. The pressure, rapid decisions, and fear have caused many to break. Having performed under those conditions I can tell you that this terror is real. Each and every member of this crew should receive accolades, and be honored by all of us. I have not worked in the field for many years, and I can guarantee that I am more cynical than almost anyone you have ever met. However I know bravery when I see it, and this crew is truly a definition of self sacrificing heroes. And all of us should be thankful that they will get the opportunity to serve again by not having to pay that highest price that they were willing to offer.

rpercifield on January 25, 2009 at 1:02 PM

rpercifield–no doubt. You are correct. What the pilot did under these circumstances was remarkable and was amazing. And his coolness, and the coolness of the crew and passengers in dealing with the crisis were wonderful and resulted in a zero loss of life.

If you want to call the pilot a hero in that sense, fair enough. I would call it absolute competence in the face of death and terror. And obviously the behavior of all on that plane was a shining example of bravery. But I usually reserve the title hero to those who can choose to avoid the crisis. For example, firemen who voluntarily rushed into the World Trade Center were heroes.

Mr. Joe on January 25, 2009 at 1:15 PM

Mr Joe,

All of the crew could have avoided the crisis by bailing out and ignoring the passengers. The captain did not have to check the passenger compartment twice. The captain and crew could have been the first out of the freezing waters. These were decisions that they made that placed their lives at risk.

The EMS, Fire, and Police officers that went into the WTCs did not know that the building was going to collapse. It was unheard of for this to happen at the time. Were they lesser heroes because if it? No. Could the aircraft had rapidly filled with water leaving these crew members in cold water that would have killed them in minutes? Yes.

So my point is this, do not try to ascribe bravery upon the outcome of the of the incident. The emergency workers of 9/11 were heroes because they risked their lives, not because they lost them. The same should be applied to the this crew as well.

rpercifield on January 25, 2009 at 1:38 PM

My point was simply that his actions didn’t fit any classic definition of heroism (selfless acts of bravery to save others). He and the crew, in his own words, were simply “doing the job we were trained to do.” I’m guessing some people here think that any other person would just point the plane to the ground, scream “screw it all” and kill everyone on board. My guess is ANY trained pilot would have done the EXACT same thing.

TheBlueSite on January 25, 2009 at 1:44 AM

If you want to call the pilot a hero in that sense, fair enough. I would call it absolute competence in the face of death and terror. And obviously the behavior of all on that plane was a shining example of bravery. But I usually reserve the title hero to those who can choose to avoid the crisis. For example, firemen who voluntarily rushed into the World Trade Center were heroes.

Mr. Joe on January 25, 2009 at 1:15 PM

In other words, his actions did not render him a hero per se, and could not have done so unless he were uninvolved to begin with and chose to get involved in order to save the day?

In this example, if and only if he had been *outside* of the airplane, noticed it falling from the sky, pilotless, and then somehow got himself aboard the plane (at 10,000 ft.), leapt into the cockpit and flew everyone to safety, then he’d be a hero.

But in this case, he was merely the attending pilot. Therefore, he is merely brave and capable under pressure, and not a hero.

Something like that?

RD on January 25, 2009 at 2:18 PM

I’m also of the school of thought that avoids the spasmodic application of “hero” to anyone and everyone that does something wonderful.

This man is what boys should be looking to as a role model. A brave and steady man, that did his duty to the utmost of his formidable ability. I salute him.

LimeyGeek on January 25, 2009 at 2:28 PM

It’s nice to hear a woman speak so well of her husband when he isn’t running for office.

29Victor on January 25, 2009 at 5:40 PM

There are lightworkers/miracle workers… and thankfully there are true American heroes.

We already have had enough of the former and need more of the latter.

The Sullenbergers are a truly classy family.

nagee76 on January 25, 2009 at 8:33 PM

Scully 2012!

*After his polictial positions have been understood

ThePrez on January 24, 2009 at 7:55 PM

* * * * * * * * * * * * *

Here we go ……………..

Benjamin9 on January 26, 2009 at 4:48 AM

I just hope he gets to come to my hometown, Denison, Texas, where he grew up and graduated high school.

You’re a true hero Captain Sullenberger; come see us.

TexasAg03 on January 26, 2009 at 10:55 AM