Friday, January 16, 2009

On a Wing and a Prayer

After I submitted my first blog yesterday I started wondering what I would be writing about in the future. I am a person who tries to look at the glass as being half full rather than half empty. However, the daily news is filled with heart breaking situations and I was thinking that I would prefer to write about positive things.

Then, in the afternoon we started to hear about a plane that had gone down in the Hudson river, off 48th Street, New York City. We all breathed a sigh of relief when it was announced that no lives were lost.

This morning I watched the morning news shows on television. Scenes of the NYC emergency responders who had sprung into action and had done an outstanding job getting all 155 passengers to safety.

Also, some of the survivors were being interviewed. All recounted stories  of people helping people. Women and children first was the cry aboard the aircraft. Men were passing babies, by hand,  down the wing of the plane to safety. Almost all stated that they were praying during the crisis.

A young woman told my favorite story about a very elderly woman who was sitting in the back row of the plane. She had confided to the younger woman sitting next to her "I am afraid of flying." The younger woman attempted to calm the woman's fears as the plane started to take off.  When it became apparent that they were in distress the elder woman took over, she told the younger woman "Get off that cell phone right now and start praying." The woman did as she was told and  the woman (who had been afraid) held the hands of the others around her. She told them all that everything would be all right and then she led them in prayer.

The pilot of Flight 1549,  Chesley Sullenberger III, 57, of Danville, California. became an instant hero. It was reported that he had served on a Board that investigated aircraft accidents and had taken part in several National Transportation Safety  investigations. He had been studying the psychology of keeping airline crews functioning even in the face of crisis. He stated, "When a plane is getting ready to crash with a lot of people who trust you, it is a test." He had studied it, had rehearsed it and he had taken it to heart.

It was just the right pilot at the right time in charge of that plane that saved so many lives.

After seeing the amazing pictures of the plane resting in the water I started thinking about the possibility of multi-passenger seaplane travel. I have had the experience of being a passenger on a 7-seater seaplane when I travelled to the Island of Bimini. 

Seaplanes can land on the water by boat hull fuselages, floats or skis. Landing a larger plane on water looks like it could be a possibility of the future. Are jet-powered seaplanes feasible? Why not? Imagine the possibilities!

Anyway, getting back to this story, I concur with the  wisdom of the elderly passenger. When in an emergency  "Get off that cell phone now and start praying."

        It is clear to me that faith had a factor in this story.

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