The Moment

1|15|09: New York City

A plane crash is not a natural time for optimism. But maybe it should be. The ditching of US Airways Flight 1549 in the Hudson River, coming in the dark of winter in a country short on confidence, was more revealing than it was astonishing.

Let's start with the statistics: First, most plane crashes are more like this one than we think. More people survive than die. Aircraft in distress don't drop, screaming, out of the sky into the fires of hell. They end up on the ground or in water, and people must get out quickly. Those who fare best...

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