Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Kudos To The Flight Attendants, Too

This is a nice story:

Pilot Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger has garnered most of the headlines for safely piloting a crippled jet onto the Hudson River, but investigators and aviation workers say there is an unsung group that also deserves praise: the three flight attendants on board.

Sheila Dail, 57, Doreen Welsh, 58, and Donna Dent, 51 — with a combined 92 years of experience on the job — were the ones who opened emergency exits, ordered passengers to don life jackets and directed them out of the plane. All 150 passengers escaped.

"They did everything right," said Mike Flores, who heads the wing of the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA (AFA-CWA) union, which represents the three. "Had they made one mistake, we would be talking about a completely different outcome than we saw on Thursday."

The pilot and copilot did great. But that alone might not have saved all the passengers. What the flight attendants did was very important: To stay calm, to act rapidly and with confidence.