- The Washington Times - Monday, July 1, 2013

A pilot who’s credited with having “nerves of steel” successfully navigated his helicopter to a safe emergency landing on the Hudson River, saving all four tourists who were aboard — and even keeping them dry.

“I was just doing my job,” said pilot Michael Campbell, 23, minutes after his helicopter touched down, the New York Post reported. “It was just another day and everything was going good. … All of a sudden, I heard the noises, a big boom. I had about 20 seconds before I hit the ground.”

The helicopter inexplicably lost power right above the water and with four passengers aboard. He miraculously landed it in the water with such skill that passengers didn’t even get wet, Fox News reported.

“It was like an umbrella turning inside out — the blades don’t have enough force” to keep the craft going, he said in the Post.

Mr. Campbell told television news reporters seeking comment after the landing that he was “just doing my job.” But to witnesses, he went above and beyond.

“That pilot must have nerves of steel,” one witness said to Fox News. “Clearly, that helicopter was in complete distress.”

After landing, Mr. Campbell said he deployed the helicopter’s emergency pontoons to keep it from sinking and then dialed the LaGuardia Airport control tower to relay the message that all aboard were fine. Rescuers picked them up in the water within 10 minutes, the Post reported.

• Cheryl K. Chumley can be reached at cchumley@washingtontimes.com.

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