The lessons we all can learn from the movie Sully

By now I’m pretty sure that everyone has seen the previews or have already seen  the latest aviation movie Sully the true story based on U.S. Airways flight 1549 landing in the Hudson (The miracle on the Hudson). Tom Hanks stars as captain Chesley “Sully” Sullenburg the captain of U.S. Airways flight 1549 on January 15th, 2009 departing from New York Laguardia Airport bound for Charlotte, North Carolina with 155 passengers and crew on board an Airbus A320. just about two minutes after takeoff the plane runs into a flock of geese causing for both engines to fail. Declaring an emergency, the aircraft tries to see if it can make it back to Laguardia airport or another nearby airport; however, Captain Sullenburg realizes that they can’t make it back and declares a water landing in the Hudson River. A few minutes later flight 1549 lands in the Hudson River and all 155 passengers and crew survive the incident becoming known as the Miracle on the Hudson.

While the movie tells and portrays the events that happened on board the aircraft, there are lessons that both pilots and passengers need to take with us next time were flying or on board a commercial aircraft. First, as pilots we are trained to handle emergencies in a calm and professional attitude. I know for sure I never want to be face a real life incident where I’m actually having to declare an emergency, but if I ever do face that kind of situation, I want to handle it just like captain Sullenburg did. Whenever you listen to the radio recordings of air traffic controller and flight 1549, you can hear how calm and relax the pilots sound and how  confident they are. Captain Sullenburg wasted no time in declaring that they were going to end up in the Hudson and even though the air traffic controller kept throwing out airports that they could’ve possible landed at, guess what? they ignored pretty much everything he said because as pilots your number one job is to fly that airplane because you are responsible for everyone on board your aircraft whether if it’s one soul, or 350 souls or in this case 155 souls, your main priority is to fly that airplane to safety and that’s exactly what Captain Sullenburg and first officer Jeffery  Skiles did.

In addition to the pilots learning a few lessons, it’s also important that passengers take away a few lessons from the movie. Believe me I’m a frequent flyer and I’m just like many of you when it comes to the safety briefing that it’s probably one of the most boring things to listen to, and unfortunately it’s something that I really don’t listen to. But here’s the truth, it is very unlikely that the flight you are on is going to be involved in some sort of accident; however, there is one problem in that last sentence and that is an accident is “unlikely to happen”. There is still that slight risk that an accident or something will happen during your flight. So here’s the question I keep asking myself and maybe you should think about it to, if the flight you are on is suddenly in some sort of accident or emergency situation would I know how to handle it? would I panic or stay calm? or would I be wishing that I had payed attention to the safety briefing earlier? Look the whole goal is to make sure everyone gets out safely. So trust me I will be paying attention to the safety briefing before each flight from now on and I encourage everyone to do the same because it really can be the difference between a few surviving to everyone surviving.

Well that’s all for now and please I encourage everyone to go see the movie Sully now playing in theaters and also checkout what others have to say about the movie at or just read other people’s blogs. Until next time remember “Adventure is out there”


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