Essay:Chesley Sullenberger is not a Hero

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Chesley Sullenberger is the guy who crashed landed submerged a plane into the Hudson River the other day. To look at any world media these days, you'd think he was Mother Theresa, Winston Churchill, and Superman all rolled up into one. Everyone thinks he's a "hero."

He's not. He's just a guy who did his job. Landing the plane. That's what he's supposed to do. Land the plane. Ideally on land, but hey, these things happen. Sometimes it's harder than others. This was one of those times.

If anyone is hero for getting all those people out of the plane, it's the flight attendants. These are the people--mostly women, if my flying experience is any measure--who did the hard work. Keeping 150 people calm enough to maintain order and getting them out of a sinking hunk of metal to go stand in ankle-deep slush is no easy task. I've seen fistfights break out when people try to deplane in a hurry just because they have a connection to make; I can't imagine this particular de-boarding went as smoothly as those.

So hats off to the nameless, faceless, underpaid, overworked flight attendants who put up with drunken assholes playing grab-ass in the business section, crying kids, picky people who swear they pre-ordered the vegetarian option, and who got those people off of the plane all safe and sound the other day. They are my heroes of the week...