Saturday, January 25, 2014
Capt. Chesley Sullenburger 5 Years Later
I don’t mean anything by that. I just loved my job. I always thought of it as a very exciting thing to do for a living. I mean who else gets to see from 50 feet away three F-100 fighter jets all turn on their afterburners at the same time and take off. Or watch a plane land up close with no landing gear. Or a F-105 fighter making a low 300 foot pass over the main runway at sound barrier speed. That’s around 600 miles an hour. Talk about earth shaking…You can’t imagine what that sounds like. You cannot duplicate that sound in the movies or with any kind of speakers.
The air traffic controllers, flight deck personal and myself are called Penguins. "The birds that don’t fly" We just make sure that the pilots can. We get them off the ground or land them as safely as possible. I was reading an excerpt from Sully's book on how he diverted to another airport to try to save a woman on his plane who had a heart attack. She didn’t make it. He said, “She died as he was landing the plane“.
I never told the story of the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) pilot who was landing on the same runway I was working on. I glanced up towards the approach of the the runway and in the distance seen that a Cessna Citation was very low and about to land.. (Picture of a new the version above) I never got a radio call from the tower. No one saying to clear the runway. Nothing. God was at my side that day long ago when I glanced up and seen that plane in the air coming towards us. I just cleared the runway in time as he touched down where my car was. I saved some lives that day. I saved myself and my helper, the pilot, the co-pilot and the people on that plane. I think I’ll write a book about that. I'll start with leading up to events that happened that day. I’ll describe how I got ready to go to work, not knowing how close I would come to losing my life. I'll say that if it wasn‘t for my quick decision making and experience the lives of a few people would be changed forever. I could write about how I followed that Cessna to the small air craft ramp and got in the pilots face through the cockpit window pointing my finger about a inch from his nose, telling him what I thought of the way he landed and to open his Damn eyes next time. I could describe in detail how I reported him and the tower personal that didn't warn me to clear the runway. Well, I don’t want bore you the with details…After all, I didn’t land in a river…….