Executive quote by Sullenberger “sullies” Aviation Safety

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ARTICLE: ‘Sully’ Sullenberger on being a national hero and making a difference

At the end of the article, Captain Sullenberger is cited for a most telling (since it is hearsay, it cannot be assumed to be accurate) dialogue with an unnamed USAirways executive. As reported, here is the encounter:

“He … appealed to the US Airways chief operating officer with suggestions for changing the company’s culture.

“He told me, ‘We don’t do big initiatives here,'” Sullenberger remembers.

Aviation safety changes should know no bounds. The smallest increment should and can be justified; sea changes must also be implemented without regard to time, effort and cost. Why? Because every adjustment, particularly when viewed over time, has the potential to save a life and that is why most aviation professionals come to their job every day with a drive to improve the company’s performancevand their personal standards.

Hopefully, the quote does not really reflect Captain Sullenberger’s former employer’s corporate culture and frankly, some direct experience with that carrier suggests that there exists a determination to attain the highest levels of safety. For broader purposes, assume that someone, somewhere has expressed such thoughts and treat it as a teachable moment—the benefit cost ratio of most safety calculations has such a high numerator value that the denominator becomes relatively insignificant.

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