Friday, October 23, 2015

Now That's Professionalism!

Remember the pilot who did such a great job after that bird strike over the Hudson River?  Capt. Sullenberger did a super job landing US Airways flight 1549 under extremely challenging conditions.  Professionalism!

Tonight's news (9-9-2015) related a story of a British Air fire on the Las Vegas runaway.  An engine failed and burst into flames as the big aircraft was attempting to take off.  What some might NOT realize is that wing, under which the fiery engine was burning, was full of jet fuel.

The TV featured the pilot's call of a Fire Emergency.  He as totally calm and professional, and did just the right thing.  Once agian, Professionalism.

I was fortunate to train as a Naval Flight Officer with the US Navy.  I then flew in VQ4, amassing some 2500 flight hours in a single 3-year tour.  That's a lot of air time.

But the Navy, and all military aviation, put enormous emphasis on safety.  We trained, and trained, and worked on safety. Aviation uses checklists, because no one wants to trust memory in the midst of a life-threatening emergency. Each month we issued a summary of accidents, and near-accidents to make sure the same mistakes weren't repeated.

A pilot would quiz a pilot-in-training with question after question.  What would you do if...?  How about if this happened...?

There is a lot is danger in launching a big aircraft full of people into the air.  We take for granted that it is a safe enterprise, and we calmly board planes all the time.  We assume safety because most aircarft accidents make sthe news.  But it is rare enough to be newsworthy.

They anticipate, plan, practice, and practice some more.

Now that's professionalism.  And it makes me proud.

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