How you do the little things everyday is important. Why is explained by former RAF Tornado F3 fighter pilot and Red Arrows display pilot Justin Hughes in his 2016 book The Business of Excellence. The full quote is: How you do the little things is how you do everything. You don’t choose a different behaviour just because it’s a big important job and you’re under a lot of stress. In fact, it’s quite the opposite; when you’re really under a lot of pressure, you revert to default wired-in behaviours because you have too many other things to worry about than … Continue reading How you do the little things
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?
Excellence is super cool amazing. But you don’t get there by wishing or hoping or staying safe and comfortable. Your call. (For more from Josh about excellence, see JoshWaitzkin.com)
Fighting complacency is not as exciting as fighting fires, but it’s a battle we will join many more times. We train for engine failures, electrical loss, and lots more. And we should practice multiple worst case failures. But we must also learn to handle ourselves on all those flights when nothing is going on. (Quote is from Coelho’s 2008 novel The Winner Stands Alone.)
Being a “good stick” is not enough. Good pilots are thinking their way through the air as well as simply moving controls. What comes next in flight is absolutely as important as what is happening right now. Jack J. Pelton EAA CEO, Sport Aviation magazine, Nov 2016 “Being ahead of the plane” they call it. And if you can always answer the question, “what are the next two things,” then you are really mentally ahead—pilot not passenger.