Managing Safety Performance NewsFlash

Always The First Priority

No matter what they do for a living, troubleshooting is a normal part of everyone’s job. Troubleshooting comes in two forms: there’s What’s causing the problem? And sometimes, How do I solve this problem?

This picture is serves as the perfect illustration of the second form of troubleshooting. If you were a commercial pilot, and your plane lost all power shortly after taking off over New York City, what would you do to solve this problem?

More than a decade ago, Chesley Sullenberger faced exactly that problem. He had less than two minutes to come up with a solution, and finding an airport was not an option.

Troubleshooting that problem, the first priority was obvious: safety. Sullenberger miraculously figured out a place to land his disabled airplane: in the middle of the Hudson River. Everyone on board survived.

No matter what the problem being dealt with, and in what form, the same principle holds true: safety is always the first priority.

Anything else comes in second. 

Paul Balmert
February 2022

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