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Old 03-05-2010, 11:36 AM   #21
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Well, there's this guy, who managed to take the marine route of going toward danger rather than running from it:

Suspected Colo. School Gunman Was Inside Building Hours Before Shooting - Local News | News Articles | National News | US News - FOXNews.com

Or this guy, who did something more along the lines of Sully:

British helicopter pilot shot between the eyes but keeps flying to save 20 soldiers | News.com.au

Seems like some people are just heroic by nature - I'm maybe more impressed by those who, aware of the danger and afraid, soldier on anyway when doing so moves them into the path of harm.
Agreed, calmloki- two good examples of who we should be hearing about as true heroes.

Captain Sullenberger, by the way was most certainly "aware of the danger and afraid, soldier(ed) on anyway when doing so moves them into the path of harm"
He did not seek a heroes mantle that day, he was just a professional who had trained to do a job, exhibited the courage and the judgement to make a life-or-death decision and execute it with a high level of skill at a highly stressful and critical juncture, in the process saving the lives of a hundred people who entrusted him with their safety.

Why some feel the need to second-guess or belittle this accomplishment is beyond my comprehension.
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Old 03-05-2010, 11:54 AM   #22
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I think the following was your comment FD, but it looks like it got into my quote box:

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BTW, is Jessica Lynch a hero? Based on the facts, it would be hard to put that label on her, IMHO.........
Which is prescient, because that was one example I was thinking of, but couldn't recall the name. Lynch was in a really tough spot. I could think of her as a hero for signing up for combat duty, but the actual circumstance that she found herself in - she was just fighting for her life at that moment. Different than risking her life to save someone else (again, just being there, you could say she was a hero - but that is heroic whether she finds herself under fire or not, IMO). IIRC, the guy that snuck her out of the hospital was putting himself in great danger - and he did that to save her. To me, that is heroic.

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Would you have called him a hero had he ATTEMPTED to land at the airport instead of the Hudson? If he did that, everyone would be dead, but he would look more like a hero.
? I don't understand? Why would attempting to land at the airport make him appear to be more like a hero?

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FWIW, Sully didn't like the media glare after the event. he still maintains he was just doing his job.
But that didn't stop the media. I'm not claiming that Sully encouraged any of this, I didn't get that impression.
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The guy who landed the plane in Iowa when he had NO hydraulic fluid may fit the hero title more, but in my mind Sully is as much as hero as anyone........
Not familiar with the details - did he put himself in further risk to protect others, or did he do what he needed to save himself?

The 'let's roll' group on the hijacked plane heading towards DC were most probably heroes. They may have also been acting with a chance to save themselves, but it also appears that they realized that crashing the plane in a field would result in fewer lives lost than sitting back and letting them crash the plane in DC.

I looked at the dictionary def on my computer - they didn't stress the 'self-sacrifice' part of it, just 'courageous'. So I guess that is maybe just my interpretation. But I don't know that it is 'courageous' to act in self-defense, though it might be very scary. You do what you do to save yourself.

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Old 03-05-2010, 12:04 PM   #23
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Or turn it around - what if something about the timing of that landing made it even more difficult, and all the passengers died? Would Sully then be 'evil'?
Just because someone is not 'something' does not make them the opposite.. there is a big middle ground where most of of reside between 'hero' and 'evil'...

So, I might never be a hero, but I also am not evil...
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Old 03-05-2010, 12:05 PM   #24
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Agreed, calmloki- two good examples of who we should be hearing about as true heroes.
Also agree.

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Captain Sullenberger, by the way was most certainly "aware of the danger and afraid, soldier(ed) on anyway when doing so moves them into the path of harm"
But that is what I'm questioning - did he really move himself into the 'path of harm', or was he trying to get *out* of the path of harm?


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Why some feel the need to second-guess or belittle this accomplishment is beyond my comprehension.
Not sure if you are referring to my comments or not, but I don't mean to belittle his accomplishment at all. By all accounts, he performed his job admirably, and that is a great accomplishment in itself. But, if his actions were saving himself as well as saving others, that's just not the same kind of 'heroics' as a firefighter going into a burning building (moving into the path of harm) to save others. Sully found himself in the path of harm - he was in as much danger as his passengers from the get-go. He did an admirable job of getting everyone out of that danger.

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Old 03-05-2010, 02:12 PM   #25
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Not sure if you are referring to my comments or not, but I don't mean to belittle his accomplishment at all. By all accounts, he performed his job admirably, and that is a great accomplishment in itself. But, if his actions were saving himself as well as saving others, that's just not the same kind of 'heroics' as a firefighter going into a burning building (moving into the path of harm) to save others. Sully found himself in the path of harm - he was in as much danger as his passengers from the get-go. He did an admirable job of getting everyone out of that danger.

-ERD50
Nothing directed at you specifically, but if I follow your logic, the only true hero is a dead hero? Since factoring in saving him or herself at the same time would negate any hero status-safe to assume that the firefighter in your example would also try to do this?
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Old 03-05-2010, 02:48 PM   #26
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Not familiar with the details - did he put himself in further risk to protect others, or did he do what he needed to save himself?
It was in 1989. In mid-flight, the jet lost ALL hydraulic power, no hydraulics, nothing. No one knows how he landed the plane, because although it is built into flight simulation programs, there is a 100% failure rate of pilots trying to land a plane in that condition........

I think about 150 people lost their lives, because the plane split upon landing..........however, 100 more survived.

I guess I don't get your definition of a "hero"...why do you have to die to be a hero? A firefighter saving a child from a burning building is a hero like the "let's roll" folks were heroes.........

"Self-sacrifice" is not necessary to be a hero in my book. Audie Murphy, the most decorated soldier ever, was a hero, but he didn't die in war...........
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Old 03-05-2010, 03:01 PM   #27
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So, again.. who would you rather hear about? Who is worthy of media attention, in your opinion?
All of them are worth hearing about for a while, just not the protracted hero worship coverage that goes on and on. I'm not sure that I understand the question, there's plenty of news that's interesting that doesn't involve hero worship.
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Old 03-05-2010, 03:04 PM   #28
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All of them are worth hearing about for a while, just not the protracted hero worship coverage that goes on and on. I'm not sure that I understand the question, there's plenty of news that's interesting that doesn't involve hero worship.
Agreed!

Who would you suggest as anti-heroes?
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Old 03-05-2010, 03:41 PM   #29
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Nothing directed at you specifically, but if I follow your logic, the only true hero is a dead hero? Since factoring in saving him or herself at the same time would negate any hero status-safe to assume that the firefighter in your example would also try to do this?
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It was in 1989. In mid-flight, the jet lost ALL hydraulic power, no hydraulics, nothing. No one knows how he landed the plane, because although it is built into flight simulation programs, there is a 100% failure rate of pilots trying to land a plane in that condition........

I think about 150 people lost their lives, because the plane split upon landing..........however, 100 more survived.

I guess I don't get your definition of a "hero"...why do you have to die to be a hero? A firefighter saving a child from a burning building is a hero like the "let's roll" folks were heroes.........

"Self-sacrifice" is not necessary to be a hero in my book. Audie Murphy, the most decorated soldier ever, was a hero, but he didn't die in war...........
I'm not sure how what I said got interpreted that I thought someone had to die to be a hero I'm not saying that at all. In fact, I said:

Quote:
IIRC, the guy that snuck her (Jessica Lynch) out of the hospital was putting himself in great danger - and he did that to save her. To me, that is heroic.
That guy didn't die, but he went out of his way and risked his own life to help her escape (if I'm remembering the story correctly).


I'm saying there is a difference to me in a totally self-less hero and a calling someone a hero 'just' because they do some incredible feat. Call them both heroes if you want (and that does seem to match the dictionary definition), but to me, one is a higher level of hero than the other.

The difference is, one person puts themselves in danger to save others (totally self-less), in the other case, one is already in the danger with others, so he/she saves him/herself along with everyone else. They are both good things, but I have additional respect for the person who is self-less on top of everything else.

So the pilot with the hydraulics problem performed admirably under pressure, and managed to save some lives. That's great, he performed heroically to save those lives. To me, a 'higher level' of heroism would be another pilot who heard the mayday call, flies alongside, jumps from one plane to the other (I've been watching too much TV?), and assists the pilot to land the plane. That guy could have sat idly by and thought " I can't do anything, wish them well", but he put his life into risk to save others.

Isn't that a big difference? Doesn't the person putting their life at risk (whether they die or not - and hopefully not) deserve a bit more air time than the other?

Maybe I communicated poorly, as I'm surprised this seems controversial at all?


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Old 03-05-2010, 04:50 PM   #30
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ERD50 , I think people just have diffferent ideas about what constitutes a hero- Maybe it's because the current media definition of hero includes drug-addled wife beaters, sports dopers, philanderers, convicted felons and con artists, bankrupt wheeler-dealers, murderers, liars, and tax cheats; but excludes someone who spent 6 years in a POW camp, for example.

There is a fascination with celebrity in this country that has become a real problem, IMO- for the celebrities who cannot function in society because of the paparazzi, the stalkers, and the hangers-on, who are being held up by the media as role models for young kids to aspire to. Who really cares what Brittany had for breakfast? Or what brand of shoes Michael Vick was wearing when he was arrested?

In the media mindset, it is a short jump from celebrity to hero- whether warranted or not.
rant over...
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Old 03-05-2010, 04:56 PM   #31
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Land a plane in the river and we'll all hear all about you!
Make that a very NARROW river with a really TALL steel bridge (George Washington Bridge) in your path if you can't maintain enough altitude. Not to mention the river traffic including oil tankers and cargo ships headed to and leaving the Port of NY.
I know that area very well from childhood and am still amazed he pulled it off.

I'm mass media deprived by choice so I didn't get saturated with all the hoopla.
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Old 03-05-2010, 05:09 PM   #32
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I know this is semantics but... I think Sully was a hero but he didn't necessarily perform a heroic act in "simply" landing the plane. His live was endangered and he acted with remarkable calm (listening to him talk to ATC) and incrediable skill in saving everyone's life.

On the other hand, after landing the plane he assisted passengers and he was the last person out of the sinking plane, so its pretty hard to say he wasn't putting his live on the line to save others. BTW, any pilots know are planes like boats is the pilot like the captain suppose to be the last one off?
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Old 03-05-2010, 05:27 PM   #33
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BTW, any pilots know are planes like boats is the pilot like the captain suppose to be the last one off?
Riding in the pointy end, the pilots are usually the first to go.

Kidding aside, there is no similar "last to leave the ship" tradition in air travel. However, I suspect most pilots sitting in that left front seat feel a similar obligation.
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Old 03-05-2010, 05:40 PM   #34
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On the other hand, after landing the plane he assisted passengers and he was the last person out of the sinking plane, so its pretty hard to say he wasn't putting his live on the line to save others.
Yes, that's an example of the kind of thing that adds to the 'heroics', by my definition.

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Old 03-05-2010, 07:41 PM   #35
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It was in 1989. In mid-flight, the jet lost ALL hydraulic power, no hydraulics, nothing. No one knows how he landed the plane, because although it is built into flight simulation programs, there is a 100% failure rate of pilots trying to land a plane in that condition........

I think about 150 people lost their lives, because the plane split upon landing..........however, 100 more survived.

I guess I don't get your definition of a "hero"...why do you have to die to be a hero? A firefighter saving a child from a burning building is a hero like the "let's roll" folks were heroes.........

"Self-sacrifice" is not necessary to be a hero in my book. Audie Murphy, the most decorated soldier ever, was a hero, but he didn't die in war...........

WikiPedia has a nice article on United 232, if you trust Wikipedia.
United Airlines Flight 232 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

It might have helped to have a DC-10 instructor ferrying in the jump seat or first class offer assistance. Lots of skill and perhaps a little good luck.

Sully seemed to get so much attention because events like these usually do not turn out well, but his was unusual. Again, skill, preparation, experience, practice, and maybe some luck.
Hero? Not exactly. Deserving recognition? Absolutely.
But, maybe we have heard enough.
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Old 03-06-2010, 12:11 AM   #36
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His live was endangered and he acted with remarkable calm (listening to him talk to ATC) and incrediable skill in saving everyone's life.
After about a thousand hours in the trainer, when it finally happens in real life then your body's autopilot just takes over and gets the job done. You're too focused on the task at hand to be listening to your inner psyche running around in little circles screaming hysterically.

You don't start shaking or having those "My God, we could've all been killed" thoughts until you get away from the crowds and have a few minutes to yourself in a quiet room. Which is probably about the time ol' Sully arrived at a retirement decision...
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Old 03-06-2010, 08:25 AM   #37
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After about a thousand hours in the trainer, when it finally happens in real life then your body's autopilot just takes over and gets the job done. You're too focused on the task at hand to be listening to your inner psyche running around in little circles screaming hysterically.

You don't start shaking or having those "My God, we could've all been killed" thoughts until you get away from the crowds and have a few minutes to yourself in a quiet room. Which is probably about the time ol' Sully arrived at a retirement decision...

With his 40% pay cut, loss of pension, airline BK, senority list integration complications between America West and US Air pilots, the drudgery of commuting between CA and SC, I am sure retirement was on Sully's mind long before the accident. The accident/book deal sped up the process.

Since he retired at 59 vs 65 we could make him an honorary member of this forum.
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Old 03-07-2010, 04:48 PM   #38
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I think he was considered heroic because he glided to safety based on his glider pilot experience and not his airline training. The people on his flight were damned lucky he had been a glider pilot.

I consider him to be a hero. I also think he is quiting early to capitalize on another opportunity. I don't consider this early retirement. It is a career change to become a free-lance speaker and writer.

Sure beat the hell out of being a pilot.
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Old 03-07-2010, 05:56 PM   #39
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While his glider experience may have helped, every pilot knows the speed his craft stalls at, and what is lift over drag max is. I am in the camp he was saving his a$$ first, and if he wasn't then I don't want him in the cockpit. When someone is doing what they have been trained to do, I have a hard time hanging the 'Hero' title on them. When a stranger jumps in front of a train attempting to save someone, or drops on a live grenade, they are not trained to do that. I am also in the camp they don't think of the consequences either, they just do it.
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Old 03-08-2010, 05:59 AM   #40
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I don't think whether you are trained to do something or not has anything to do with whether you are a hero or not.

I think its more if you have to do it or not.

If you are the pilot and the engines quit you will be landing. Plane full of people or just you, its the same. You have no choice.

Sully did a great job. Perfect emergency landing in water all engines out. Never been done before.

But he is not a Hero. I do admire his skill.
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