Saturday, September 10, 2016

'Sully' Movie

'Sully' Movie. Three facts.

1. Often called 'The Miracle on the Hudson', it wasn't a 'miracle'. It was training, developed procedures, design. Behind that came experience, skill and lastly, luck - first bad, then good.

2. The successful forced landing on water wasn't one pilot's achievement, but the achievement of an aircraft crew, both cockpit and cabin crew, and those that trained them, those that legislated to ensure they had the tools training and experience to do an exceptional job. (Humans seem to need solo heroes. Don't forget those that give heroes the tools and backup.)

There's something called Cockpit (sometimes Crew) Resource Management. Worth a look, it's about teamwork and can apply in any team. It has not been about 'one pilot in charge in an airliner' for decades now. For instance, see:

3. 'They' weren't out to 'Sully' him. The (US') National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) portrayal in the film (and in the trailer, above) is a fictionalised film device to have an adversary and dramatic tension. There are a lot of questions, checking and paperwork after an airliner crash. Their job is not to blame or pillory the pilot or crew, but to gather data for future accident prevention.

It's the media where the pillorying occurs. (Captain Sullenberger believes it was, the NTSB weren't asked to be involved in the film making.) Unsurprisingly, there's been negative views from ex-NTSB members on this film. Whether that's fair or not the NTSB and their peers in Australia, Canada, the UK, Europe, New Zealand and so on are a key element that goes to make airlines flying as safe as it is for us. Enjoy the film, but remember: "Allyn Stewart, one of the film’s producers, told the New York Times that the film is not meant to be a documentary." Indeed.

[I generally don't touch modern airliner activities, but this accident is unarguably a part of aviation history, and too important to leave to a no-doubt gripping entertainment by 'Hanks'. Oh, sorry, actually a large team making a film.]

Critical review:

NTSB comments reported:

Pilot's view:


WSJ review:

NTSB Report:

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