Air travel in America is becoming increasingly scary, with napping air traffic controllers, First Lady near misses, and so on. Who can we turn to in these trying times? Heh, we should be ashamed for posing such a rhetorical question. The Daily Beast caught up with the only man we need to hear from, Captain Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger, to get his thoughts on the crisis gathering in America's skies. Besides the fact that Captain Sully never met a flying schedule he couldn't man up and handle, we learn that proposed cuts in the FAA's budget scare him:
Q. The House FAA bill also proposes to cut FAA funding. What would you say to those who look to the FAA as a place to trim the budget?
A. I would say you have to be very careful. It's very difficult to cut the budget that much and not have an effect on safety. If we chose to cut it, then we need to do it with our eyes wide open, and to be upfront and honest with the American people, and tell them that we are choosing to cut the budget knowing full well that one of the possible implications is that we will not have properly staffed regulatory agencies, that we will not have done the very best we can to take into account what we've learned from the science of safety, that we're choosing not to update our rules and to hold ourselves to the highest professional standards we know how to do, and that we realize that by not doing these things, we're increasing the risk that at some future unknown date, someone will come to harm that otherwise would not have.
That's essentially a nice way of saying that FAA budget cuts are going to kill people. When Captain Sully's nerves of steel are starting to become a little rattled, you should be very afraid.
[Image via Getty]