usairways_1549


ssometimes I  ask myself, why does humanity act the way it does? When all is well and fine with the world each of us try our best to outdo the fellow beside us. Whether it be in sports, an argument over an oil hike, or even the choice of people running our government. Each side considers themselves the truth and the best. They cannot be wrong. But when God intervenes and erases one continent through a ravaging cyclone or flood, the rest of the world hears the cries of the obliterated and offers assistance and aid in all forms. We do not concern ourselves with petty matters as the color of skin, race,social group, or religion. It is enough that there are people dying to extend our hand in comfort. Why the need for tragedy to see the good side in man?

A few weeks ago, I downloaded a movie titled “Sully”, a true story about a seasoned airline pilot who was forced to make a water landing in the Hudson River back in January 15, 2009. The movie reportedly gained the acclaim of critics and moviegoers earning $234 million worldwide.

So last night my curiosity got the better of me and I put on the movie. It was a great movie. I’m not sure if it hit our theaters but it was apparently shown in the States around September of 2016.

“Sully (also known as Sully: Miracle on the Hudson) is a 2016 American biographical drama film directed by Clint Eastwood and written by Todd Komarnicki, based on the autobiography Highest Duty by Chesley Sullenberger and Jeffrey Zaslow. The film stars Tom Hanks as Sullenberger, with Aaron Eckhart, Laura Linney, Anna Gunn, Autumn Reeser, Holt McCallany, Jamey Sheridan, and Jerry Ferrara in supporting roles. The film follows Sullenberger’s January 2009 emergency landing of US Airways Flight 1549 on the Hudson River, in which all 155 passengers and crew survived with only minor injuries, and the subsequent publicity and investigation.”

Sully premiered at the 43rd Annual Telluride Film Festival on September 2, 2016, and was released in the United States by Warner Bros. on September 9, 2016, in conventional and IMAX theaters. The film received positive reviews from critics and has grossed over $234 million worldwide, but created controversy by its portrayal of the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB). The film was chosen by American Film Institute as one of the top ten films of 2016.[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sully_(film)]”

The story evolves around Pilot  Chesley Sullenberger otherwise known as Sully and the NTSB (National Transportation Safety Board). Though Sully opted to force land on the Hudson River, the NTSB believes that the pilot erred and put to risk the lives of all its passengers and crew. To prove their point the Board created simulated test flights manned by actual pilots who made successful landings to two nearest airports at the time of the incident. Sully however correctly explained that on simulations, the “human factor” is left out leaving the  actual incident completely unexpected and unrehearsed. Everything is unprecedented until it happens for the first time. The outcome becomes dependent on the sole decision of the person  making that decision. He takes full responsibility – good or bad.

Summarizing a very good story, the Board admits their shortcomings.

“Elizabeth Davis [Board member]: I’d like to add something to a personal note: I can say with absolute confidence that, after speaking with the rest of the crew, bird experts, aviation engineers, after running into every scenario,after running each player, there were still accidental results…: And it’s you, Captain Sullenberger, removing you from the equation of math, just fails.

Chesley ‘Sully’ Sullenberger: I disagree. It wasn’t just me, it was all of us. Jeff, Donna, Shila and Dureene. And all passengers, rescue workers. And traffic control, helicopter crews and scuba Cops. We all did it! We survived.”

You will note that Board Member Davis was commending Sully for a job well done and if it wasn’t for him the plane could have crashed with very dire results. But instead, Sully disagreed and said that their survival was not dependent on him alone. It was a team effort. Everyone was involved, from the crew, passengers, rescue workers, traffic control, helicopter crews, scuba cops, they all did it. They survived. Sully knew that without the full participation and cooperation of all involved, they would not have survived.

Same is true in any organization or government for that matter. The leader alone cannot run the organization. He has to have the full support of his constituents to achieve his goal whatever that goal may be. A radical form of government instills a forced following because it will attempt to deviate from established norms. And to deviate from established norms where its roots are spiritual in nature – love of God, brother, and family –  will never succeed because you will be moving against God Himself. But, should God decide to force His hand on His people once again, the remaining few good ones will never gloat but will extend their hands in comfort and understanding to the majority who felt fear for man and not God.

Tragedy has always brought out the good in man … and it always will.