In today’s world, we have more information and knowledge than ever before. Most of it is readily available and easy to access – all it takes is a quick search on Google or Wikipedia and you can pull up a fact about nearly anything.
Yet with this burst of knowledge has also come increasing complexity and confusion. We know more than ever before, but we don’t always know how to apply it and how to make the most of it. We have trouble putting this knowledge into action – making sure that it is useful and practical.
In many ways, the information age has made us a lot less practical and less wise with the knowledge we know. We know so much now that we get easily distracted, we lose sight of the basics, we miss the essentials, and we make mistakes when we know we know better.
Mistakes when “we know better” are often more painful than mistakes we make when we have to make a guess and just try our best. These mistakes are super important to avoid for a person like Atul Gawande, because as a surgeon a simple mistake could make the difference between life or death.
How do we not get lost in this ocean of information? How do we make the best of the knowledge we have, while still leaving room for the unexpected? According to Dr. Gawande, the power can be found by making a simple checklist.
My own little ‘unsettling’ story of sorts. The first photo is one that a 12 years old me took on the 2nd of July, 1997. I was sitting in the jumpseat of a Britannia Boeing 757-200, as it turned onto final approach at Newcastle Intl (EGNT) on the way back from a two week holiday in Rhodes, one of the Greek islands.
On the flight out, I’d visited the flight deck and got on well enough with the crew that I spent the majority of the flight there, even as other people and kids came and went, and was invited to stay up front for landing, even given my own headset to listen in to ATC. Little did we know at the time that such things would soon be consigned to history. The crew had passed on the word of my return flight, so on the way home I was again allowed to stay up front for landing, this time with my old fashioned film camera at the ready.
The aircrafts registration number can be seen on the little white plate, as well as with the signatures. G-BYAG.
Just over two years later, on the 14th of September, 1999 just before midnight and in the middle of a thunderstorm with heavy rain, a Britannia 757 suffered a severe crash landing in Gerona, Spain. Although there were no fatalities in the actual crash, it was still front page news in the UK. Something didn’t quite sit right with me when I saw the photos though, and I dug out my own photo from two years earlier to compare the registration numbers. G-BYAG. It was the same plane.
The last photo inparticualr is a bit disconcerting. That’s the same flightdeck, though obviously the window pillar in front of the Captain’s seat on the left wasn’t covered in blood.
Some of you on here may know, but for those of you that don’t, I applied to the FAA for an Air Traffic Controller position last April. I saw it as a complete long shot and thought there was no way I would make it through the selection process. For the last few months I have been going through all of the hiring hurdles and as of last week I am officially slated to start class in April. When I started in aviation, I was sure I wanted to be a pilot, but the further along I got, the more things seemed to be stacking up against me. I am very happy that I now have the opportunity to hopefully stay involved with aviation as a career. I have to say a big thank you to @jheath and @airplanes-and-andrea for all of their help thus far.
Roscoe Turner checking his plane engine at Charleville 1934
London- Melbourne Centenary Air Race was sponsored by Sir Macpherson Robinson as part of the Melbourne Centenary celebrations in October, 1934. The Centenary Air-Race was one of the greatest air races in aviation history, according to some. The route stretched over 19 countries and seven seas. Five compulsory stops were designated for both divisions. Between the five stops (Baghdad, Allahabad, Singapore, Darwin and Charleville) pilots could select their own route…
A KC-135 Stratotanker, assigned to the 63rd Air Refueling Squadron at MacDill Air Force Base, Fla., refuels an F-16 Fighting Falcon, assigned to the 480th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, during a flying training deployment at Souda Bay, Greece, Feb. 2, 2016.