Learning Experiences

January 2005 Issue

Learning Experiences: 01/05

Driven To Distraction
We have all heard stories of little things leading to big tragedies. Consider Challenger, a terrible tragedy caused by a defective O-ring. Then there was Eastern Airlines Flight 401, a Lockheed L-1011 that crashed in the Florida Everglades on December 29, 1972, because someone nudged the autopilot disconnect but didn’t notice it while working on a failed nosegear indicator light. There are many—too many—other examples The point is, accidents and incidents can start from very simple events that simply snowball out of control. Here’s the reason I began thinking about the “chain of events.”

A few months ago, I flew a 160-nm VFR trip in my Cherokee 140; not...

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