In a Life-or-Death Crisis, Humility Is Everything

Sam Walker:

Capt. Haynes spoke calmly and clearly to ground controllers and even thanked them for their assistance. At one point, when he was told he’d been cleared for an emergency landing on any runway at nearby Sioux City, he laughed. “You want to be particular and make it a runway, huh?”

Thinking quickly, he instructed one member of his three-man crew to grab ahold of the throttles controlling the two functioning wing engines. By carefully offsetting their thrust, the crew managed to direct Flight 232 down to one of those runways, but the odds were still against them.

The passenger jet was drifting side to side in a tailwind. It would have to land at 250 m.p.h., almost double the usual speed—and it had no brakes.