Yesterday a commercial airliner hit a flock of geese while flying out of Laguaria Airport in New York City. The pilot, well seasoned in the cockpit, skillfully guided the doomed airliner to a safe water landing in the Hudson River. Nobody was killed and injuries were only mild hypothermia and some pretend maladies conjured up to inspire potential lawsuits.
The event is being hearlded as a miracle. What was so miraculous? To say that this is a miracle downplays the incredible precision and quick decision making that the expert pilot employed. This is the moment that he had prepared for over and over in his head. This is the moment that thousands of hours in a simiulator prepared him for. This is where his clutch experience as an F4 Hornet pilot in the Air Force paid off.
To say it is a miracle cheapens human achievement. A miracle would have been evident if the plane magically grew new engines, was picked up by a giant magic hand and guided back to the ground, or the plane landed unaffected in Charlotte with a cooked goose hanging off the engine for each passenger.
There was nothing here that was unnatural, unexpected or unanticipated. This is a testament only to human preparation and execution. Miracle Schmiracle.