On a wing and a prayer
Director: Clint Eastwood (Gran Torino) Starring: Tom Hanks, Aaron Eckhart, Valerie Mahaffey, Laura Linney Verdict: In a show of strength, he went to water
THE latest film directed by the great Clint Eastwood relives one of the great moments in aviation history.
If not for the quick thinking of veteran American pilot Captain Chesley ‘Sully’ Sullenberger, it would definitely have been one of the worst moments.
The incident in question has come to be known as ‘The Miracle on the Hudson’. On January 15, 2009, US Airways Flight 1549 completed a regulation takeoff from New York’s LaGuardia Airport.
Just six minutes later, the Airbus A320 carrying 155 passengers and crew had come to a standstill in the middle of the Hudson River.
Everyone aboard survived, unbelievably defying the terrible death rate that usually accompanies a forced landing on water.
The cause of the mishap was a total loss of power in both engines due to a collision with a flock of birds.
In the 208 seconds that followed, the calm presence and rapidfire reasoning of Captain Sullenberger were all that stood in the way of several unthinkable outcomes (including the plane crashing into nearby New York City).
The title role is played by Tom Hanks. Having forged a golden career in playing a wide variety of American everymen, Hanks is the logical choice to play a genuinely modest and unassuming, real-life hero.
The film also covers the aftermath of the incident, where Sullenberger became the subject of a gruelling investigation by government regulators.
Clocking in at just over 90 minutes, Sully is a no-frills, low-thrills tale of heroism that draws the admiration and inspiration from the viewer.