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Archive for the ‘flying’ Category

       Airplane pilot Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger said today at a hometown celebration that he was just doing his job when he landed a jet with 155 passengers on the Hudson river in New York..he said actually,  all of the flight crew were just doing the job that they were trained to do.  He appears to be very humble and self-effacing.  I think that all of this attention is hard for him to deal with.  I also believe that he knows that even though they each did the job that they were trained to do…it still was a miracle that no one was killed or even injured in a debilatating life long way.

       The statements that the pilot made sure make you think though.  I got to wondering, how many people “just do their job”?  How many people do their best or go the extra mile in what they do for a living?  Emergencies happen all of the time…so, I find it comforting to hear that the  courage, wisdom and training that was exhibited during this emergency landing…was all part and parcel of the flight crew’s training.  Still, i think it says something about the quality of the persons on that crew.

         I personally believe that the hand of God also guided and directed the whole adventure.  Things went very well for an emergency plane landing on water.  It was as if everyone had practiced what to do including the passengers.  Things really turned out almost perfectly for an out of the ordinary landing.

        While the plane crew did their jobs, the ferries also did what they have trained to do…the whole rescue event could not have turned out better.  Let’s not forget that the pilots also avoided crashing into a major populated business or residential area, they avoided the bridge on the water…and no ferries or boats were in the pathway of that jet as it came down for it’s dramatic touchdown.

        Ahhh…i suspect that each of the person’s on that plane have a story to tell.  It would make some book.  Wish that i had access to each and everyone of the passengers…because i believe that it would make quite an awesome interview to get the perspective of each of the 155 persons on board.  How those moments took place in their heads and how it has affected them so far; as well as, how they think it will affect their future.  Why do they think they were spared a far worse fate?  Did they have any life changing attitudes before the event and after the event…is their mindset any different after the plane’s emergency landing? 

        I don’t know about you; but, i am thankful that flight crews are trained for such emergencies.  I don’t personally fly…but, i have loved ones who do fly…and they fly often…so; to all of the professionals out there in the mass transit areas of our lives…thank you for what you do each and every day…in emergencies and in the moments of routine procedures!

       

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       September 11th used to be just another day.  Then, it became my son’s brother’s birthday.  Nine years later…September 11th became something else.  September 11th, 2001 became the day of the destruction of American innocence.  It became a day controlled by terrorists and their plot of destruction.  It became a day of horror and fear.  It became a day of mourning.  Then, it became a day of rememberance. 

         Each year the day brings anxiety, fear, sadness and depression…but it also, becomes a measure of time.  It becomes, almost a before and after measure in our country and in our lives.  The military men and women, the everyday people who traveled on the jets, the business people who worked in the World Trade Center, the people on the street…every life that was lost was precious; and the grief never becomes anything less than what it should be!  The grieving process is different for everyone…but, it is the bridge from a place of denial to an acceptance of a life that has been changed, due to a loss of the life of a loved one.  At some point, you either become a person cocooned in pain and loss or you move towards a place of healing and acceptance.

        How much time has passed since that tragic day.  How many things have those people who’s names are called out in the roll-call missed.  How many sons and daughters have marked milestones in their lives without parents?  How many spouses have witnessed holidays, birthdays, anniversaries, births & deaths without their partners by their side to support them?  How many parents, grandparents, grandchildren, neighbors, and friends have been forced to bear witness to life without those who were such a part of their lives?

          For those who have valiantly tried to heal from the deep wounds of September 11th; some have found some way of marching into the future…one difficult footstep at a time.  Others have been forever stuck in that moment of loss.  For those who have been able to move forward painfully…there is no lack of a sense of guilt, for surviving and beginning to enjoy the blessings in life again. 

          Each milestone of survival is marked by loss…that can’t be forgotten; and yet, to choose not to enjoy what’s left in life to enjoy; is a slap in the face to those who’s lives were lost.  Which of them, if given a choice would choose to live a life without thanksgiving, without joy, without celebration… of all the good things before them; if they were able to live again?  It does those who were lost no honor, to allow the terrorists to have more “dead” victims than they already stole from the world.

          So while we honor those who were lost…let’s not forget those who were left behind to survive.  Let’s honor the loved ones, of those who were lost in the attack.  At some point, peeling back the scab over and over again can only serve to prevent long-term healing.  When, might September 11th become just another day again?  Can it ever become just another day…probably not?  Should it ever become something else besides an acknowledgement of the terrorists deeds?  Or are we forever bound by loss and respect to the lives lost, to always carry the scar of history ?  Is it possible to take back some of the power that the terrorists stole from us by reclaiming that day as just another day?

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         This incident had to be a little shocking for the people involved; a 45 year old man from Paris, France had a massive heart attack.  His heart had stopped working for over an hour and a half. 

          It appears that emergency personel tried to revive him but wasn’t having great results.  They sent him on to a hospital where they continued the effort only to decide he was gone.  Then, just as he was being prepped for an organ donation…his heart began to jump back into action.  What a surprise for the surgeons involved in prepping him for the organ donation procedure!  It was a miracle for the 45 year old man; sad for those on the waiting list for the donated organs, though.

         Organ donation is a wonderful thing…it has the power to save and improve the lives of so many people.  However, i think people do actually get concerned about how the medical profession decides that a person is truly dead, before they proceed with retrieving an organ from a donor. 

        If a person has decided to become an organ donor; the best thing they can do is document it and make sure that the next of kin is aware of their wishes.  If a person has strong feelings on the matter, it is very important that they make it clear to family and friends about their decision; relieving the next of kin from the stress of having to make that decision.  www.organdonor.gov/ or www.organtransplants.org/ or www.donatelife.net/ .  

        There are those who argue about the ethics involved in organ donation; waiting lists, costs, black market organs, testing of the health of the donors, safety of medical flight transportation of organs; and some of those arguments are valid…however, no-one can deny the impact on the lives of those who give and those who receive.  There are complex layers of emotions involved.

        I think that when people consider organ donation, this is one of the biggest fears that they face…what if they aren’t really dead?  I am sure there is a definate protocol involved to insure that this kind of situation is avoided; however, in this case, i sort of imagined myself in that situation with my slightly twisted sense of humor.

        I can just see it; coming to on the surgery table…saying, “Excuse me, don’t touch that.   I still have a need for that particular body part!”  LOL  

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         Today was just a wildly, eventful day…a aero-med helicopter crashed into a major hospital in Grand Rapids, Michigan and miraculously, no one was killed.  

          It was announced that Clay Aiken, a gifted singer, is going to be a father (congratulations Clay).  

          And, the wonderfully talented Harvey Korman (from the Carol Burnett television show fame) who brought such joy to the world, died today.   

         Last but not least, the Texas Supreme Court ordered the  450 sect children returned, to their parents, that the Child Protective Services removed from their families due to allegations of sexual abuse of minor children.   The state just was not able to prove the claim of wide-spread abuse  of the 450 children.

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         Up, Up, and away, in my beautiful, my beautiful balloon…that is how the old song goes (with a much better voice than i will ever have).  This was how i envisioned Michel Fournier’s scientific experiment starting off…with that little song running through my head, as i watched the replay on the evening news!  No such luck. 

          It was reported today that the balloon somehow became detached and floated into the sky without the capsule.  How in the world could this have happened?  That balloon cost something like two hundred thousand dollars or so.  How could it have become detached without someone noticing, before this could derail Mr. Fournier’s attempt to lift off?

         The poor man, yesterday his experiment of going up in a capsule attached to a special made helium balloon, to set a few records, was cancelled due to the weather.  He had already had a couple of other attempts that were aborted in 2002 and 2003 due to the balloon being ripped apart before it could even get up into the air.

         Now this experiment, that he was attempting was important but, extremely dangerous and never before been attempted by anyone else, to my knowledge.  He was going to go up in the capsule attached to the helium balloon to then skydive from an amazing heighth…something like 131,000 feet if i remember correctly….planes fly at like 39,000 feet.  That is wild to someone like me who is afraid of heighths.  But not for Mr. Fournier who is a former paratrooper…this would have been a dream.

        It wasn’t just for “fun”…the experiment was also to document data for astronauts and scientists to see the effect on the human body in the highest altitudes.  Michel would also be wearing a pressure suit much like they wear in space because at a certain height…a person can develop a blood clot…or ewwwww, the blood can “boil”.  Yuck! 

          Mr. Fournier wanted to set four records by setting the fastest and the longest free fall (he is a skydiver) as well as the highest documented balloon flight & the highest parachute jump on record. 

           I can’t begin to imagine the extreme disappointment he must be feeling.  He has spent a fortune trying to make this happen over the years.  He has run out of money from the sounds of it…so this could have been his last attempt.  Maybe …just maybe…it was the big guy up above, looking out for him…maybe he would not have survived such an attempt!  Still, i do feel for him…his disappointment must be immense.

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         Daredevil Steve Fossett has incurred a large debt related to his disappearance and the subsequent search and rescue last fall.  Nevada officials are looking for some way to get reimbursed for the $687,000 that was spent trying to find him and his plane; that search came up with several other wreakages, however, Steve Fossett and his plane was never found.  I remember hearing at the time of his disappearance, news reports wondering if Mr. Fossett purposely disappeared.  That is a mystery, like the disappearance of Amelia Earhart; we may never know exactly what happened. 

          His family ended up having him declared legally dead in February of this year.  Mr. Fossett set many daredevil records over the years…he dreamed of breaking barriers and setting records.  He was a hero to many who admire the example he set for those who like the extreme excitement they get by pushing the boundaries.  Do you think that his family should be responsible for the expenses that the search and rescue attempt cost the state of Nevada? 

 Update:  October 1, 2008  Today there are reports that, a little more than a year after Mr. Steve Fossett disappeared, some of his personal property has been found.  A hiker has turned in to the police, some pieces of ID, and a pilots license, and a little over $1,000 dollars cash.  An extra large black pullover fleece was also found in the same general area.  This discovery was on the trail near the town of Mammoth Lakes, California.

Update:  October 2, 2008  It has been confirmed that a plane crash site was located near the area where the ID, personal items, and cash were found; and it is indeed the plane that Mr. Fossett was flying.  There was no full body found.  There was a small amount of human remains found in that in that area that will be tested for Mr. Fossett’s DNA.  Madera County sheriff said that the crash was so bad that he doubted that anyone could have survived the impact.   

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        Ok, I am a little scared…how about you?  I feel a bit like Chicken Little….the (objects from ) the sky is falling, the sky is falling!  The very, top secret, spy satellite that was put up in space less than two years ago quit working and it is now falling to the Earth’s atmosphere.

        The US Military has plans to blow it up with a missile.  Sounds a bit like the Hollywood movie entitled, Armageddon.  Now the problem is that our space shuttle is still up there flying around and they need to wait for that to land here on Earth before they try to blow this bus sized satellite to smithereens.

        The space shuttle Atlantis is scheduled to land on the 20th of February.  The military could actually try to blow it up starting on this sunday the 17th; however, from what we hear on the news reports, this satellite has toxic/poisonous gas on it that could kill alot of people should it hit the Earth in a populated area. 

         I am sure they are waiting for the shuttle to land so as to not expose the astronaughts to the danger of the gas and debris. 

         The military has a total of three missiles ready to be launched at the satellite.  There is a very narrow window to shoot and hit this bus sized object.  What happens if for some reason, all three missiles miss? 

         So, what does the American public do?  Should we prepare our homes and our families as if we were being targeted by terrorists?  Plastic wrap the windows of our homes, stock up on batteries and water, and basic necessities? 

        All i know is, when that thing hits even if it is blown up …there will be remenants of the satellite that will still not burn up in the atmosphere…so i hope that missile busts it up good so that any remaining parts burn up good and proper.  I dont want poisonous gas anywhere inside of the ozone layer where we are all exposed to who knows what.

        There are those who say…hooey…it is only being blown up because it is a spy satellite and the government doesn’t want it’s secrets available to any other government.  That is probably somewhat of a valid argument also. I sure dont want other governments to have access to our military secrets either.

         However, on the chance that both ideas have merit…i sure hope that the people in charge of aiming and firing those missiles are of the highest caliber of skills and knowledge.

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