During my flying career, I have only once been really scared for an extended amount of time. Coming down from very calm air over Lake Isabella for a landing at Kern Airport I was hit by some serious turbulence.
I had the hardest time to keep the dirty side of the airplane down and at the same time initiating a very gently 180 degree turn – I knew where the air was calm and needed to get back there. As I write these lines clearly I did make it, but after coming out of that turbulence I had to land at the next available airport and get my shaking knees under control.
I am contrasting myself to the professionalism and calmness of the pilot of the US Airways Flight that went down in the Hudson river some two years ago, and I don’t look that good. Sure, he is a professional and trained for situations like that, but it is, nevertheless, admirable how he stayed calm in the face of his own possible death. From a very detached point of view clearly this was the correct thing to do, to have the best chances for survival. The outcome proved him right.
From this day forwards, as we all understand now, we will always ask ourselves, when we are getting upset about something – “how will this upset help me in this situation?” If you just remember to ask yourself this question, I am sure it will get you over this upset immediately.
Here, for you to admire, the events of the ditching of the US Airways flight in the Hudson River…