Competence vs. Judgement

This post references the first official aviation accident in which texting was considered part of the cause. See this link.

Competence is one thing, poor judgment is another. The texting helicopter pilot was plenty competent. You? If you passed your driver’s test the state declares you a competent driver. But one more thing is essential to stay out of the hospital or morgue: attention to the job. In the fighter pilot realm we called this “mission orientation”. That is, knowing your mission and performing that mission while refusing to be distracted by qweep.

Qweep (n.) – Anything that distracts from the mission.

Your mission might be a safe trip to soccer practice or a road trip to Montana. You can do these while listening to the radio or engaging in small talk, but some distractions will compromise safety and must be ruthlessly eliminated. If fog gets so thick you cannot drive, don’t. If noise in the car is too loud to concentrate, turn down the noise. And if a phone keeps drawing your attention from the road, turn off the phone.

A pilot must protect the mission as though it were his life—because it is—and a driver must do the same. Politeness or bashfulness cannot be allowed to ruin a life. When the mission is being threatened, the offending distraction must be dealt with immediately and without mercy.

2 replies
  1. Janessa
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