You Can Relax: The Motto Of Modern Airplane Pilots Is, ‘We Got This’

Written by Captain Dave Funk on April 25, 2018

How many of you have read the story of Pan Am Flight 6, commanded by Captain Richard Ogg, who along with his crew back on October 16, 1956 ditched their McDonald Douglas DC-6, a four engine piston airplane in the Pacific Ocean? All thirty-one people aboard that aircraft survived the ocean ditching.

I’m sure every reader of Clash Daily knows the story of US Air Flight 1549, commanded by Captain Chesly “Sully” Sullenberger and his crew who executed a perfect ditching of their A-320 in the Hudson River on January 15, 2009. Again, everyone onboard survived.

Just last week we saw the former US Navy F-18 pilot, Captain Tammie Jo Shults, calmly land her damaged Southwest Airlines Boeing 737, Flight 1380, at the Philadelphia airport on April 17th after a catastrophic engine failure. Other than the tragic loss of life of one woman who was partially sucked out of the airplane only to be pulled back in by her fellow passengers, all survived the event physically uninjured.

Captain Schults, like Captain Ogg, and Captain Sullenberger before her, is being properly lauded for having nerves of steel. As my fellow professional pilots all know, it’s what we are trained to do from day one of our careers as pilots. Staying calm is what we do; be it a corporate jet, a military aircraft, or an airliner.

So next time you’re on a flight somewhere, and the aircraft has a problem: pay attention to your Captain and the flight crew’s instructions, stay calm, and you will be just fine. No need to get on social media and broadcast live what you think might be your impending demise. After all, if the Wi-Fi is still working on the plane, there really is no need to permanently embarrass yourself by acting like a little, screaming, fifteen-year-old girl by being overly dramatic about your current plight, it’s going to be OK.

From 41,000 feet in the air, I can tell you to trust your Captain and the crew, because


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Captain Dave Funk
Captain Dave Funk: Constitutionalist, hunter, dad and patriot, Dave has retired as both a US Army attack helicopter pilot and a Boeing 757 International Captain for Northwest Airlines; Dave has spent most of the last few years piloting US Department of Defense special mission aircraft in the “Sandbox”. With a unique perspective on the world that comes from thousands of hours at 41,000 feet, his ability to explain complex aviation question in simple terms has earned him guest commentator spots on most major TV and radio networks.