“The only level, smooth place sufficiently large to land an airliner was the river,” Sullenberger said, recalling that the plane had no thrust and was “descending rapidly.” A former Air Force fighter pilot who has flown commercial planes for nearly three decades, he knew he had to touch down with the wings level and the nose slightly up, and “at a descent rate that was survivable.”
That was his only viable alternative. And he was confident that he could do it. It was an intense feeling of relief when he learned that all the passengers and crew were saved. He was asked how he felt about being seen as a hero. his reply was that he didn’t feel comfortable embracing it but he didn’t want to deny it – especially is that’s what people needed. That’s a hero.
As you look back, Sandwiched Boomers, how have you dealt with trauma in the past? And how has this changed you? Take the specific strategies that you learned and apply the most effective ones again and again. Look at the ways you can continue to build on your internal and external strengths. A double bird strike disabling two engines is a highly improbable set of circumstances. Yet there are many extraordinary situations we cannot predict. Hopefully you won’t ever have to brace for a crash landing. But being prepared never hurt anyone.