News, notes, and observations from the James River Valley in northern South Dakota with special attention to reviewing the performance of the media--old and new. E-Mail to

Saturday, January 17, 2009

A day when everyone did everything right

The crash landing of U.S. Airways Flight 1549 in the Hudson River is an inspiring story of competence, skill, and cool-headedness after a string of disasters in this country when no one seemed to know what or how to do anything.

Capt. Sully demonstrates what training, proficiency, intelligence, and professionalism are supposed to be about. He reminds me of the pilots who flew me and my Army colleagues between the U.S. and Europe a number of times and throughout Europe, and when we took hops on training flights to get free transportation when going on leave. Flight crews had great respect for the pilots who worked to keep up their skills and their mental edge, and they let we passengers know we were in good hands.

But in the stories about the successful ditching of the Airbus ( which also seemed to do what it is supposed to do in such situations), I have found nothing about the boat pilots and rescue crews that were on the scene immediately and took the passengers and crew to land. As an old river rat who has traversed river currents in everything from canoes to houseboats, I can appreciate the job these workers did in completing a successful rescue.

And it feels so good to have everything go right for a change.

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Aberdeen, South Dakota, United States