Captain Chesley Sullenberger and his first officer Jeff Skiles pull off a water landing on the Hudson River in the middle of NYC’s infamous winter cold. Miraculously, all 155 on board survive. What happened next was the most exhilarating and political fight between the pilot’s union, the NTSB and Airbus, fueled by US Airways need to pin the dual engine failure and the subsequent actions on the flight crew. At least that’s how Clint Eastwood framed the context of the investigation making the coolest episode of Air Disasters you could have ever seen.
Tom Hanks is completely believable as Captain Sully, who figures out that the only way to save New York from another tragedy is to land on water. Within the first 45 seconds, he and Copilot Skiles, played by a mustached Aaron Eckhart, must decide if returning to La Guardia or diverting to New Jersey is achievable with minimal collateral damage. Watching the simulations alone will make you realize how precious experience in the flight deck is when it comes to passenger safety. If it had been any other pilot, the plane and its precious cargo would have been lost forever.
Oscar buzz aside, you must go an watch this movie. It is a real life story, one that didn’t require much explanation and elaborate storytelling to be compelling. I was rooting for the hero every step of the way, a man on a mission to prove that what he did and the people who did it with him where the key to success. This man is a national treasure and it is a pleasure to have been alive to see, as an aviation enthusiast and aircraft designer, an airplane perform such a feat thanks to the engineering prowess of an entire industry hell bent on making air travel safe and accesible.
Pairs nicely with a wine or beer. I watched it at my local Cinebarre and enjoyed every gut wrenching minute of it. Cheers!