Can we find a Captain Sullenberger within us as Cirrus Pilots?

“…to save a life is to save as world, as you never know what the person you saved nor his or her progeny will go on to contribute to the peace and healing of the world…”

These were probably the most poignant words of the entire US Air Hudson River ditching segment on 60 Minutes tonight. (they can be found at the 5:00 mark of Part Three of the 60 Minutes interview links below.

After watching the interview of Capt Sullenberger, he strikes me as likely the pilot we most admire. Cool under pressure, professional in the moment and most certainly a “Polemaster of the First Water”.

But in this last segment I have quoted above (words from the son of an eighty year old man living in a riverside building) only then does the immense responsibility of being a pilot really sink in. The third part of the episode also reunites the crew with the saved passengers, and more importantly, their families. Families who would have suffered immensely had the Captain not made things work.

I have posted this on “the outside” of COPA’s membership walls to encourage non-members to rethink their real dedication to safety in their flying. It is about so much more than equipment, it is about a frame of mind that is always learning about the most vulnerable and pivotal component in the safety of any flight… you the pilot.

Captain Sullenberger said he spent a lifetime preparing for this event (crashing an airplane) that he never really thought he’d ever really do. His credentials show this to be more than idle talk that so many talk about but really only pay lip service to. He saved the lives of many, perhaps someone who will go on to change the world, because he was trained and had the mindset to do what he was trained to do.

We owe it to our friends, our families and the friends and families of our passengers to make safety our mindset.

Joining, participating or even lurking in COPA member discussions in the member’s forum is one way to start.

Did you know that almost every fatal Cirrus accident involved pilots who were not COPA forum participants?

[H]60 Minutes Interview Part 1 “I was sure I could do it”

60 Minutes Interview Part 2 - “Saving 155 lives”

60 Minutes Interview Part 3 - “An Emotional Reunion”

Thanks for posting that Robert. It is really well done.

Thanks for the post Robert, and your very thoughtful words.


Nicely said. That quote struck a chord with me as well.

It also made me feel good (again) about COPA’s commitment to aviation safety.

For those thinking about joining, please join.


Very meaningful post,bravo for posting it.

I hope the non COPA members lurkers will grab this occasion to join us and take part in the never ending quest for more safety which is one of the noble purposes of our organization especially with the wealth of experience,knowledge and love of sharing that so many COPAns show daily in this forum.