Thursday, January 15, 2009
Fate luck and airplane crashes
I was thinking about the miracle on the Hudson. Those passengers were lucky to have that particular pilot. Not only did he have years of experience but from what was reported he had a background in aircraft accident investigation and safety. Lastly he was able to figure that he couldn't make it back to the airport or get to the one across the river. I'm no pilot but I can see the difficulty pilots have when they fly. Most flights are a no brainer. Aircraft have become so automated that they almost fly themselves. I'm sure you could go years without incident and then the poop hits the fan and you have to make life and death judgments. That is difficult. In my profession we play it like a game of chess. At the start of any job there's a safety meeting and all the known risks and preventions are spelled out. That's not to say things can't and don't change. I always go in with the attitude - what can jump out and kill me today and how can I prevent that? I think it's been that attitude that's kept me fairly safe with all limbs in tact over the last eighteen years.
But there is something else in all of this. Crum from Lost in the Bozone got me thinking about this from his post the other day. You have all had days when nothing seems to go right. You get up late. Your shoe lace breaks. The milk is sour. You forgot to get coffee and of course the bus you just missed came early. Then every 20 years or so something strange happens. Like some strange virus in one day it seems you can do no wrong no matter what you do. You show up late but the boss says that's okay because the job was running late. You thought you did the wrong thing but it turns out right. You get all the green lights. You find a parking space right in front of where you're going. When you get there it turns out this is the one day they're having a 50% off appreciation day and you just happened to have a coupon for the item you wanted. I guess you could call this the luck zone.