For people of any serious professional regimen, be that military, police and civilian pilots, heroism could be defined in a very dry way. Carrying out own professional duties under the circumstances which drastically impede carrying those duties out is heroism. I recall, Chesley Sullenberger and his crew beating everything deadly what the fate threw at them that day of 15 January, 2009 when their professionalism saved lives of 155 people. Miracle on Hudson was both miracle and skills, incredible skills of those who flew the plane. But apart from elation when seeing on live TV all ferries on Hudson rushing to save those passengers from Hudson's cold waters, it was Sully's incredible humility which struck me then--that humility was a true measure of a true Man. That he, and his crew, were heroes we knew already the moment we could see the doors of US Airways A-320 popping open and people getting out to aircraft's wings.
Yesterday Russia got her own miracle in the corn field. Simply stunning and simply no words of the humility of this crew, which, led by their incredible first pilot, did almost impossible--saved 234 people.
Yet again, the true measure of a Man--humility. "I just did my job". Hell no, you didn't--you told death "fvck you" and refused to surrender lives of men, women and children on-board. This is pure heroism. The similarity, despite obvious dramatic differences--water against hard ground--is startling in a sense of timing: few seconds to make the only correct decision, in case of Ural Airlines A-321, not to lower landing gear and get the aircraft into the field on its belly, as in case of Sully--splash down, don't even try to get to the nearest airport. This is "Carrying out own professional duties under the circumstances which drastically impede carrying those duties out". They succeeded and people lived. I would also be dishonest if I will not point out that in both cases these were Airbus 320-321 series aircraft which turned out to be tough mofos. Kudos to Airbus. Meanwhile, I cannot describe in words the wave of inspiration drowning Russia out now, same as it was 10 years ago with Miracle on Hudson. That is what real heroes do to people--they give them their faith in humanity back. Damir Ysupov and your flight crew--you did just that. Congratulations to both pilots on the highest honor of Heroes of Russia and cabin crew with their Orders of Courage--well done, heroes.