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Stay Focused

Nothing like a legitimate event to distract leaders from the process. “The stock market isn’t a compass for your business.”

On December 28th, 1978, Flight 173 from New York to Portland was piloted by Captain Buddy McBroom and First Officer Rod Beebe, combined over 27,600 flight hours.

The flight departed with 189 souls onboard, and they were to arrive in Portland at 17:13 PST, another routine flight for this crew. The weather is great, and the crew is experienced; what could go wrong?

As they approached Portland, they lowered the landing gear. They felt a vibration and the airplane pulled to the left. They looked down at the display, and the landing gear indicator showed the landing gear did not go down successfully.

Pilots are trained not to panic, and they shouldn’t because there are numerous ways to get the landing gear down on an aircraft, including a manual option.

They ask air traffic control for a holding pattern to diagnose the problem and to run their procedures.
The experienced crew flew for about the next hour, troubleshooting the light showing the status of the landing gear.

During that time, none of the flight crew members monitored the fuel levels.

To make matters worse, they were flying around with flaps down and gear down, and they didn’t know it. For those not in aviation, that is a ton of drag and requires way more fuel. It is like driving down the highway with a parachute out the back.

As a result, they lost engines three and four. They were flying a DC-8 that had four engines.
At that moment, they declared an emergency landing. ATC cleared the runway as the crew performed their emergency approach to landing.

In the final approach, they lost to number one and number two engines to flame out. The last communication recorded was the crew declaring ‘MAYDAY’ on the radio.

Flight 173 crashed into a populated area of Portland about six miles from the airport.
They crashed with four perfectly good engines and an airworthy aircraft because they were too fixated on a false indicator.

It turned out the landing gear was down, and the light on the display wasn’t working correctly.
I’m not saying the economy isn’t a big deal; I’m not saying you shouldn’t watch the news about the stock market. Don’t get distracted and fixated on problems that may not exist.

In aviation, you must never forget to do three things.

Aviate, Navigate, and Communicate.

In business, you must aviate, don’t stop flying the aircraft. Navigate, plan, prioritize and execute, and communicate to your team clients to stay focused on the core economic engine, which are the activities that move the needle.

Stay Focused!

Nick McLean
Cheplak Live
Nick McLean Real Estate

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