There may be No Substitute for Genuine Expertise – Chris Henkey, Pilot Hero, reminds us of this with his right, split-second decision


FireCaptain Chris Henkey, 63, was taking off on one of his final flights as a pilot when his left engine set alight on the runway at a Las Vegas’ McCarran Airport on Tuesday evening.
It was his first serious incident in more than 40 years as a pilot for British Airways, but not his first brush with death: a car crash a number of years ago had left him disfigured, one close friend revealed.
Today his family declared he did a ‘bloody good job’ to save all the 157 passengers on board and revealed Mr Henkey had texted them to say there had been a ‘massive explosion’ but he was safe.
‘There were not enough words in the world for us to express our gratitude.’
From the account from The Daily Mail

 

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What does it take to develop real expertise?

One answer: years of experience, with a constant attention to learning, and getting better at what you do…

Pilot Hero, Chris Henkey
Pilot Hero, Chris Henkey

I thought of this as I read about the pilot hero Chris Henkey. It backs up what we remember about Sully (Chesley Sullenberger), and all of that insight about the 10,000 hour rule (popularized, though not “discovered,” by Malcolm Gladwell in Outliers).

This was one of the last flights scheduled for pilot Chris Henkey. My hunch is that it was good he was so experienced. An engine caught fire during takeoff; he had to decide very, very quickly just what he would do. I suspect it was good for all of those passengers to have such an experienced pilot making that decision.

So, a simple reminder – is there anything you keep working on, getting better at, over the long haul? Such expertise is indeed valuable, you know…

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