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Sully

I went to see Sully with real interest as to how they were going to make a good story out of two minutes of action when Captain Chelsey Sullenberger, the eponymous Sully, lands a passenger jet into the Hudson  - where you know the happy ending. The crash scenes (it is repeated) are terrifying but the dramatic action takes place in the investigations afterwards where there are serious questions raised about whether he could have made it to one of two airports in range.
In the public investigation, they are taken live to the Airbus simulator in Toulouse where the facts of incident are replayed and in each case the pilots made it onto dry land. The case looks damning against Sully. But he defends himself by pointing out that first they (unlike the simulator pilots) had not practiced this before and secondly that there had to be factored in the 'human' factor of two pilots having to make life or death decisions within a few seconds. They replayed the simulations with a 30 second 'human factor' delay and in the simulations end with catastrophic crashes into buildings. Sully is the hero again. Great film. Thank you Clint Eastwood.
But the logic of what happened is that the killer in this instance (it was a miracle that the aeroplane didn't break up) was the human factor. If a computer had been flying the plane and not had the delay of human pilots, with their slow motion thought processes, the aircraft would have landed on dry land. Far from celebrating the triumph of the pilot, the film actually demonstrates his or her redundancy. The passenger would have better off without a pilot - but this film is sadly only going to embed the opposite conclusion. It will take a lot of 'pilot error' crashes to persuade the flying public otherwise.
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