2011 03 06 My Aircraft


I just finished rereading “The Checklist Manifesto” which seems to have become one of my “give it the once-over every year” books. The last section is an overview of the US Airways Flight 1549 which landed in the Hudson River. The phrase “my aircraft” really hit me in a good way.

When things went south and Captain Sullenberger realized that both engines had lost power he look over the flight from the co-pilot Jeffrey Skiles. The book details several of the reasons why he took over (for example, the amount of flight time with that particular aircraft) but reading that single phrase encapsulates an enormous amount of discipline and ownership. The ability for someone to rely on their training without panic and to take on responsibility in the moment is tremendously impressive to me.

I work in a pretty low-discipline field, (TMTOWTDI being one of the more well-known responses to fixing issues or getting things done) but the idea of rigor and discipline for problem solving always interests me. I envy the focus and need to concentrate on narrowing down issues to their core and finding universal ways to communicate about the problem along with determining a solution.