“At last I understood what true professionalism is. Being a pilot isn’t all seat-of-the-pants flying and glory. It’s self-discipline, practice, study, analysis and preparation. It’s precision. If you can’t keep the gauges where you want them with everything free and easy, how can you keep them there when everything goes wrong?” Charles D. Svoboda Flying magazine, November 1976. Old editions of Flying magazine are archived by Google books. This amazing article is online for free in the November 1976 edition, and certainly deserves a new audience. It’s about making a foggy zero/zero landing in a huge prop plane. Lots of good … Continue reading Zero/Zero, Charles D. Svovoda
Checklists save lives! A major new study in the journal Annals of Surgery shows a 22% reduction in post-surgical deaths when a simple WHO 19-item checklist was used. It wasn’t a true random experiment, but the clear results are still impressive. “Safety checklists are not a piece of paper that somehow magically protect patients, but rather they are a tool to help change practice, to foster a specific type of behavior in communication, to change implicit communication to explicit in order to create a culture where speaking up is permitted and encouraged and to create an environment where information is shared between all … Continue reading Surgical checklists
“Flying is a great equalizer. The plane doesn’t know or care about your gender as a pilot … You just have to perform.” Lt. Col. Christine Mau, USAF. The plane also doesn’t know or care if you’re tired, or if you were going to study more tomorrow, or if you’re in a hurry. Quote is in a nice article, Meet The First Female F-35 Pilot, by Tom Demerly. “You just have to perform. That’s all anyone cares about when you’re up there — that you can do your job, and that you do it exceptionally well.”
Newall Hunter is a 53-year-old communications contractor and IT engineer, who has climbed 7 of the world’s highest peaks and trekked to both poles. He gets honest about what it takes in this Red Bulletin magazine article. What will you give up to do what you really want? “If it doesn’t feel right, you should turn around. You can come back and do it again. If you get it wrong, you won’t be coming back.” It’s cool to post inspirational memes. And any of us can be the best pilots of old-rental aircraft or in our employers planes — but … Continue reading What will you sacrifice?
“Regardless of the outcome, any expedition still offers hundreds of experiences you can learn from.” David Lama is an elite climber who has scored many ‘firsts’, but seems grounded in a deep understanding of risk, rationality and unforgiving reality. Both these quotes come from an article in this month’s Red Bulletin magazine that’s well worth the short read. Like pilots, mountaineers must understand the consequences of bad choices. “In mountaineering, you constantly have to check your perceptions against reality. After all, a plan is only an idea. And an idea is a fleeting thing.”