Saturday, September 10, 2016

Movie Review – “Sully”

Yesterday, Mary and I watched the movie Sully.”  Directed by Clint Eastwood, the film retells the events of US Airways Flight 1549 on January 15, 2009.  It is based on Captain Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger’s autobiography, HighestDuty.”  Captain Sullenberger, portrayed by Tom Hanks who gave another masterful performance, and his co-pilot, Jeff Skiles, played by Aaron Eckhart, conducted a routine take off from New York City’s, LaGuardia Airport.  Not long into the flight, the Airbus A320 airliner flew into a flock of Canadian geese.  Both jet engines were destroyed by the bird strike.  With no power to keep the plane aloft, Captain Sullenberger and First Officer Skiles managed to safely ditch the aircraft in the frigid Hudson River.

These skilled aviators saved the lives of 155 passengers and crewmembers, including theirs.  However, slowly sinking into near freezing water, more than a quarter mile from shore revealed another pending disaster.  Miraculously, ferryboats and first responders were close enough to rescue the passengers and crew of Flight 1549.

Unfortunately, the Federal government’s National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) engineers placed more faith in computer modeling and flight simulations rather than pilot testimony.  To create tension, the movie leads the audience to believe the NTSB is out to prove pilot error and that the water landing was unnecessary.  Having worked with Air Force test pilots, and NTSB field investigators, I do not believe agents would desire to condemn pilots that have to make split-second, life or death decisions.  All too often, survivors are not available to interview.

The settings, special effects, and actors have you in the plane during the frightful minutes before the crash.  Then, you get to take a breath of relief for surviving the initial impact.  But water begins to rush in and you join the near panic to egress the aircraft.  Once outside, you realize that the freezing air and water temperatures present another clear and present danger.  Finally, you are filled with gratitude for being rescued.

I have studied survival issues for decades.  I recommend reading, TheSurvivor’s Club,” by Ben
Sherwood.  Survival specialists have discovered a common thread to survivors.  10% of the universal population recognize potential dangers, stop and think about what they would do if they encountered that danger, formulate a plan of action, and execute the plan.  80% of all people can recognize danger but rely on others to tell them what to do.  The last 10% don’t recognize pending danger, panic when they face it, and because of their fear motivated actions, put others in danger.  This movie demonstrated all three types of people.  Captain Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger proved to be a born survivor.

I always want to write from a biblical/historical worldview.  I want to address the film’s rescue scene from this perspective.  Not once did anyone care about the color of a person’s skin, ethnicity, economic/social status or lack thereof, or religious perspective or personal choice to reject faith.  Today however, there is a culturally driven threat to the survival of our nation – the promotion of social justice.  This is a false narrative.  Why?  Social justice elevates one people group over another.  It is discrimination and it negates the constitutionally protected concept of equal justice.  We see celebrities, professional athletes, and progressive politicians talk about America being socially unjust.  These folks need to see this film and take particular note of Americans in action when a real emergency faces us as a people.  We come together, care for each other, and serve one another, including total strangers.  This is the America I know, serve, love and desire to help survive for generations to come.  The movie, “Sully,” demonstrates the best of what Americans are.  By the way, good behavior does not depend on one’s political party affiliation.  Almighty God revealed His opinion regarding the behavior He wants from His children – YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.

Thanks for reading.

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