Pressure To Go

This story about the Challenger disaster can be applied to the go, no go decision making process pilots face every time they fly. When your aircraft is in good shape and it’s a bluebird day, no clouds, no weather, and there’s no place in particular you need to go, there’s no pressure. Fly or don’t, who cares? There are no consequences either way. But the decision gets more difficult when not going has serious ramifications, missing a family event, being late for work, costing the client or your employer lots of money, or being stuck for days in some crappy airport while your wife questions your career in aviation. I know, I know, you should never let outside forces influence your safety of flight decision. Well, welcome to the real world, especially when flying small planes over big oceans. If you wait for perfect conditions you’ll never go. Sorry, but it’s the nature of the beast.

30 Years After Explosion, Challenger Engineer Still Blames Himself

3 Replies to “Pressure To Go”

  1. One of those “I remember where I was when I heard the news” things. 🙁 Didn’t know about poor Mr. Ebeling… I can’t even fathom how hard that’s been on him. Wonder if the decision makers were as guilt racked as he and his colleague. So sad. 🙁

  2. Complacency kills. That’s been my motto in flying for a long time, especially when flying skydivers. There are days when I will fly 30 or more loads, that means 30 takeoffs and 30 landings, and I have to force myself to treat each one like it’s the first one of the day. Even so I still forget something important about once every two years. I kick myself each time.

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