My office window is along 10th Avenue in Mahattan-- which last Thursday put my and my co-workers in perfect view of something that looked quite out of place... a commercial airliner bobbing in the water.
By now, the story of the US Airways jet that took off from LGA, had an unfortunate encounter with some birds, and then a miracle landing on the Hudson River, is well known.
The pilot, by all accounts, leaned on all of his aviation experience to calmly put the plane down on the water, allowing all on board to escape. He is the hero everyone says he is.
But days went by without us hearing much about his co-pilot. He is Jeffrey Skiles. Skiles flew the takeoff but turned the plane over to Chelsey Sullenberger. He then went through the emergency checklist and helped safely empty the plane of passengers. The website Gawker asks "Is the Co-pilot chopped Pate?"
Let's not forget the flight attendants, either. They directed passengers to keep their heads down and their feet on the ground. Reports say they also stopped passengers from opening the rear emergency exit. And they successfully escorted all to safety.
Despite all the problems the airlines have, including the miserable way they run their businesses and treat their customers and employees, they have assembled the safest aviation record in the world and the best professionals at the controls. And that's the most important part of flying.