Speaking of being the sort of fellow people would like to have around in an emergency, I've just finished "Extreme Fear," written by the guy who inspired my recent post about the inexplicable Air France disaster. It contains the perfect antidote story: an aerobatics expert whose right wing strut buckled during a strenuous stunt. With seconds to live, he remembered a pilot who popped a damaged wing back into place by flying upside down, so he flipped over. Then his engine cut out. Still flying upside down at low altitude, he coolly carried out the checklist for starting the engine back up. Next he considered whether to land upside-down in the water or in some trees, and instead lit on the idea of flipping his plane back over at the last second and landing on solid ground before the wing could buckle again. He walked away.
Definitely not the deer-in-the-headlights sort. Kudos to those who can keep their heads in situations where I'd be thinking about as clearly as the average lizard.