I absolutely and unconditionally love this guy.

This is clearly a first-class, Grade-A Dude.5. One of those people I’d vote for without knowing or caring what his politics were, within reason.

Now, I’ll debate just about anything with anyone, but I have a rule about debating someone else’s area of expertise, and that rule is “don’t go there.” (Forgive me: It didn’t become a cliche for nuthin’.) Generally, I try to say, “OK” a lot to people who know more than I do about what we’re talking about. Which you’d be surprised how often happens if you’re even remotely self-aware.

I probably don’t do it as often as I should, but who among us does?

Which the point being that if Sully-not-Andrew told me we had to kill 49 to save 51 based on how he saw things in terms of landing/crashing the freaking plane, I’m pretty sure I would’ve done what he told me to do without challenge given that Father Knows Best about my own survival in this example, plus my dad was a private pilot who made me comfortable in the plane after exactly 20 minutes of flight, this little four-seater 1953 Classic tail-dragging, over-powered, most excellent short-field machine, me 13 or so, asking Dad after we were up a ways, “What happens if the engine doesn’t work?”

To which Dad reached up and turned it off. We glided (glid?) for some time, he gave me some simple quick instructions and let me “fly” it after convincing me an engine problem was not critical and turning the motor back on, he was telling me he could land it in a hole in a retail parking lot if he needed to (which as we flew more over the years I realized was true, including personally witnessing at least one or two, “Watch this'” in a way that was not explicit like that at all, more like “In this situation here are the things you need to think about” from Dad) as he landed it in grass in 100 yds, or poured it into the hangar about 10 seconds after we touched ground on a real runway. The thing was that you just didn’t worry about it, even at 13, because the flight up to the landing was always smooth, and safe-seeming and all in all very cool.

Pilots are a little different, unless they’re nuts and have lost their own survival instinct, they’re just about as interested and getting down safe as you are.

I’m kinda sure Sully would agree that there were any number of pilots in the world who could’ve pulled it off. But not many of them reminded us so viscerally as did C. Sully S., since most pilots have never been in that situation, a good thing.

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