BIG Kudos to the pilot, who clearly did everything exactly right under what most of us would agree were rather high-pressure circumstances. In a perfect world, he should immediately be paid a bonus equal to his current annual pay times the number of years he has to retirement. He’s earned every dime of it. Whether he continues flying or not.

And don’t forget the co-pilot, who could be said pretty safely not to have screwed anything up, and probably was both spiritual and practical comfort to the pilot.

But watching the coverage, you’d think the pilot had no personal vested stake in getting the plane down safely. It’s weird and funny and vaguely uncomfortable for me to watch because it is simply not a realistic way of capturing what the pilot went through. I wish it were different. I just heard a Talking Head say that it was amazing that the pilot “kept his energy.” Uh, Mr. Head? The pilot had enough adrenaline coursing through his veins to keep him awake for hours, at least, and maybe wrestle a grizzly.

To me, a dream quote from the pilot would be along the lines of, “Passengers? I had passengers? *laugh* I was a bit more worried about my wife and kids. Plus, I didn’t want to die.”

Update: In related news, President Bush is telling us goodbye tonight.

Update 2: More on the pilot. Obvious mega-stud. If I ever become a billionaire, he’s got a job.