Holly Mulcahy recently published an article at Neo Classical that references a long-standing crisis management guideline from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) that stresses the importance of fundamental priorities.
Here’s an excerpt from the FAA’s advice that came to fruition after a December 1972 crash of Eastern Airlines Flight 401. The entire cockpit crew was so focused on a non-critical task of investigating a malfunction of a landing gear position indicator light that they failed to detect and arrest the descent, resulting in 99 fatalities.
“…distractions can be deadly in an emergency situation and can rob your focus from more critical items or tasks. Do everything you can to minimize distractions from every source. If you have passengers aboard, set expectations before the flight. Take some time to explain your role and theirs, in addition to the standard seatbelts, exits, and emergency equipment brief. Insist on a sterile cockpit – no conversation that is not directly related to safety of flight during critical times. Give your passengers a job to do such as scanning for traffic or calling out altitudes.”
Not only is it good advice, but a handy crisis management tip to keep in mind during upcoming post-pandemic operating environments.