Friday, January 16, 2009

On competence

I was in an examination room across the city at Sloan at the time the USAir jet ditched in the Hudson River, but just a couple hours earlier I was riding Amtrak along the river, watching as it turned from completely iced over upstate to largely open in New York. 

Reading this article about pilot "Sully" Sullenberger, a veteran of the Air Force, certified glider pilot, and union accident analyst, made me grateful, again, that our dynamic economy hasn't quite been able to squeeze expensive experience and competence out of the system. Although it may turn out that Sullenberger made mistakes that put his plane and passengers at risk, I doubt he did, and in any event it seems clear that his response to emergency was masterful. I'm sure struggling US Airways would have liked to have dropped the high salari