Miracle on the Hudson
by Lea Sicat Reyes

On a chilly January afternoon, US Airways Flight 1549 was about to make a routine flight from New York to Charlotte which would take two hours. What they didnít know was that it would only last for three minutes. At the controls were Captain Chesley Sullenberger and First Officer Jeffrey Skiles with Sheila.

Dail, Doreen Welsh, and Donna Dent as flight attendants, all experienced flight personnel of US Airways. On this particular flight, they, along with the rest of the passengers, would face death square in the eye in a matter of less than 300 seconds. What happened next would be known as the Miracle on the Hudson.

This is the theme of the movie Sully. It revolves around Captain Sullenberger who goes by the nickname Sully hence the title of the film. It follows the aftermath of such an amazing story and how it changed his life and the lives of those on the plane. Masterfully directed by Clint Eastwood and brought to life by legendary actor, Tom Hanks, Sully is a film that speaks of humanity prevailing in the most trying times. Its story remains riveting despite the seven years that have passed since the incident. The lives of the crew and their harrowing near-death experience will remain in the chronicles of history for years and years to come.

What happened to Flight 1549 was incredibly unbelievable and unprecedented. Upon reaching an altitude of about 2 800 feet, a massive bird strike completely crippled all engines of the airplane. The plane at that point became a thousand- pound glider with busy New York just below it. Just imagine the destruction a plane crash in an urban setting especially a city that had just experienced the horrors of 9/11. The damage done to life and property would be tragically staggering. And yet, Sully and the rest of his crew rose to the occasion. Knowing that it was impossible to go back to La Guardia Airport or to make an emergency landing in nearby New Jersey, Sully made a decision that would save each and every soul on that plane ó that was to attempt an emergency landing on the Hudson River.

Yes, you read that right. They landed the plane on the Hudson. And that takes so much skill and dare I say, luck. You see, landing a plane is already a challenge in itself. Landing on water SUCCESSFULLY? No precedence. Two planes had tried: one in Ethiopia and the other in Taiwan. Both ended tragically. But for this particular flight, it did. In 24 minutes, all the crew and passengers scrambled out of the plane and were brought to safety. All 155.

To see this miracle dramatically unfold on the big screen is such an experience. Sully captivated a remarkable story and immortalized Flight 1549 for generations to come. Watching it was a great escape from everything else that has been happening in our country. Just to see how people pulled together when it was needed the most is a great source of inspiration at a time when death and hateful dialogue are but the order of the day. And in all humility, after saving the lives of all those passengers and his crew, Captain Sullenberger said this beautiful line: ďI donít feel like I was a hero. I was just a man doing his job.Ē

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