When Highest Duty: My Search for What Really Matters came out, I got myself an electronic copy of it and searched for the words “God”, “Jesus”, “Miracle” etc. Amanda and I had watched Capt’n Sully be interviewed a few times and we guessed that he was a straight up guy who knew how to land an airplane on a river. And did. We were happy to find an example of something extreme and unlikely happening and the key person involved not invoking supernatural powers as causing or stopping something from happening.

At an entirely different time in the past, well, a few times, I was almost eaten by a lion or killed by drunk renegade soldiers and so on and so forth and, as I’ve noted elsewhere, discovered that there is not a strong correlation between being truly threatened with death and being scared of what was going on.

Apropos these things:

Comments

  1. #1 travcollier
    April 28, 2011

    Your experience with missionary pilots may have left you with a bit of a bias ;)

    This actually seems like a book I may read. Very much out of my normal genre, but I’ve seen captain Sully speak a few times about labor conditions in the airline industry (with obvious wider implications) and been rather impressed with his good sense and courage to speak out about.

    Being a pilot means you can fly an airplane and isn’t a great indicator of much more. But there is are some correlations. Commercial pilots have to be very disciplined (on the job at least) and good ones have a rather old fashioned, in a good way, sense of responsibility. They also have to be able to do more arithmetic and have a well above average knowledge of mechanics (physics) and meteorology… an odd combination of “I know” vs “I have an educated guess which may well be wrong” disciplines.

  2. #2 Greg Laden
    April 28, 2011

    Yeah, I definitely don’t pretend to have a bead on what the “average pilot” is or does. I’ve known quite a few pilots, most were those with military background who then went commercial. In fact, the missionary pilots in central Africa prayed and stuff but they were not evangelical as far as I could tell. And they were good pilots.

    The thing is, the event that made Sully famous is widely known as the “Miracle on the Hudson” … so now we can definitively say that the press made a miracle out of something that the guy who pulled it off calls “following my training.”

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