In case you are ever worried about your safety aboard an aircraft, take a listen to the exchange between LaGuardia Tower Air Traffic Control, Teterboro Tower, and Captain Sullenberger of US Airways Flight 1549.
What you’ll notice absent is any sound of panic or confusion. It’s been analyzed from every angle already, but what gets to me is the cool professionalism. Ask The Pilot’s Patrick Smith has written about the training and education of those in the cockpit and cabin, and rightly concludes that Sullenberger wasn’t performing heroics, he was doing his job.
This website also has other recordings and the transcripts regarding 1549. Even on paper, you can see that controllers continue to route other aircraft, manage ground control, and even say “Good day” to one another.
If you have any doubt that those professionals in the cabin will keep their cool in situations that would send most people into a screaming frenzy, listen to the exchange between the first officer of Swissair Flight 111 and air traffic control. Again, notice the utter lack of emotion as he describes the emergency situation. Alas, this flight did not end as well as 1549, but rest assured the crew did everything possible to deliver their passengers safely to the ground.
When I get on a plane in March, I’ll feel relieved knowing the crew would keep their cool if something goes wrong. Of course, if they run out of coffee in flight, I suspect the passengers might not keep it together.