I mentioned in an earlier post my interest in plane crashes. I had been toying with a presentation based on this concept for quite awhile.
A little over a month ago, at the local SQL Server User group here in Albany I offered to present for the February meeting. I gave them a choice of topics: A talk on Entity Framework and how its defaults can be bad for performance and a talk on plane crashes and what IT can learn from them. They chose the latter. I guess plane crashes are more exciting than a dry talk on EF.
In any event, the core of the presentation is based on the two plane crashes mentioned in the earlier post, Eastern Airlines Flight 401, the L-1011 crash in Florida in 1972 and US Airways Flight 1549, the Miracle on the Hudson in 2009.
I don’t want to reproduce the entire talk here (in part because I’m hoping to present it elsewhere) but I want to highlight one slide:
Flight 401 vs 1549
- Flight 401 – Perfectly good aircraft
- Flight 1549 –About as bad as it gets
- Flight 401 – 101 Fatalities/75 Survivors
- Flight 1549 – 0 Fatalities
Flight 401 had a bad front nosegear landing light and crashed.
Flight 1549 had two non-functional engines and everyone got off safely.
The difference, was good communications, planning, and a focus at all times on who was actually flying the airplane.
This about this the next time you’re in a crisis. Are you communicating well? How is your planning, and is someone actually focused on making sure things don’t get worse because you’re focusing on the wrong problem. I touch upon that here when I talk about driving.
The moral: always make sure someone is “flying the plane”.