Book Review: Sully: My Search for What Really Matters by Chesley B. Sullenberger and Jeffrey Zaslow
“We need to do the right thing every time, to perform our best, because we never know which moment in our lives we’ll be judged on.”
An intimate look at the man responsible for the “Miracle on the Hudson.” Sullenberger’s biography as much as the story of his five-minute flight to fame.
“A hero is someone who risks his life running into a burning building. Flight 1549 was different, because it was thrust upon him and his crew.” Lorrie Sullenberger
Obviously, Sullenberger is not an author. The late Zaslow brought together a decent product quickly, however he bears responsibility for the many shortcomings. Perhaps Sullenberger talks like this, but the prose is wordy and awkward. Lots of digressions; some felt like filler.
“In the cultures of some companies, management depends on the innate goodness and professionalism of their employees to constantly compensate for systemic deficiencies, chronic under-staffing, and sub-standard subcontractors.”
Post 2001, the pensions and standards for airline pilots were gutted. Sullenberger shares his obvious unease with the direction of airline management. Capitalism undergirded America’s growth and plenty, but it has a dark underbelly.
“How many different levels of technology do you want to place between your brain and the control surfaces? Technology is no substitute for experience, skill, and judgment.”
I’ve been flying for sixty years. This book confirms my preference to fly commercially only when I have to. It’s no longer fun, efficient, nor economical. It’s effective, usually. So far.
“One of the reasons I think I’ve placed such a high value on life is that my father took his.”
By now most readers know that Sullenberger objected to the way the National Transportation Safety Board investigation was portrayed in the movie supposedly based on this book. The backbone of the movie, that investigation gets about four pages in the book. In fact, the movie should be evaluated as “based on a true story” fiction. The book is much better.
“Flight 1549 wasn’t just a five-minute journey. My entire life led me safely to that river.”