Surgical checklists

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

The plane doesn’t know

“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.”

What will you sacrifice?

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?

David Lama on managing risk

“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.”

1 in 5 biz jet pilots are stupid?

Ripped from the aviation press headlines: One in five business jet pilots don’t do a full flight-control check before takeoff. Actually one in five is a bit of an exaggeration. The would be 20%. The more precise number is 17.66%. And that’s actually a per-flight percentage, so maybe the percentage of pilots is a little less. But WTF Batman! 17.66%? You may have read about the fatal 2014 Gulfstream G-IV crash caused by the crew not doing a flight-control check and then trying to takeoff with the gust lock engaged. Well, now the airmanship onion has been peeled back a … Continue reading 1 in 5 biz jet pilots are stupid?