Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Hold On!

THIS is why pilots are trained relentlessly.

And trained and trained and trained.

So in that sudden moment when everyone's lives are at stake, they will act correctly, reflexively, from their brain-stem out all the way to their automatic mental checklists, thoughts and actions.

March 1, 2008. Hamburg, Germany. Cross-winds gusting at 150 miles an hour.

The left wing strikes the runway, and the pilots still get the Lufthansa Airbus 320 (Flight LH44) inbound from Munich with 137 souls on board back into the air.

The plane landed safely afterwards on another runway.

The pilots are being hailed as heroes.

Bravo. Bravo. Bravo.

As flight crew, I've been in more than a few declared emergencies. These pilots have the right stuff.