A small airplane landed on a road…

mind at work

Sree Mitra

January 22, 2024

Author: Krish Krithivasan

… not fiction, this actually happened (Jan 19, 2024) in Virginia, US near the Washington Dulles International Airport. Everyone walked away unhurt. Without doubt, kudos to the pilot and crew for the outcome.

Let’s dive into this a little. The weather this day around these parts was BAD. There was a bunch of snow. Implies freezing temperatures and icing. A pretty challenging day to fly, even for the airlines. This small airplane (Cessna Grand Caravan if you want to look that up) takes off. Climbs to about 1200’ straight out from the runway. Something happens and within moments the pilot decides to take affirmative action, makes a left turn, lines up and lands on a road. The entire flight lasted about 4 minutes. The pilot probably had less than 30 seconds to figure out what to do. As a pilot I can share that every pilot is trained to do this. Many airline pilots practice this situation in a simulator. All that training and simulation does not guarantee the ability to actually act in a real life situation. That’s where this crew stood out. Being situationally aware and choosing the appropriate response to ensure a good outcome. Good pilots do that.

Now let’s broaden the horizon. Mental health is a stigma in aviation. Mention the word “mental” and the best of aviators will squirm in their seats. Just like doctors. Hence most folks in this profession choose to not do anything about it. They bottle up emotions and hope their worries will go away. Think about the scene from the movie Sully when Sully’s wife calls him a day after the miracle on the Hudson about how their entire lives were going to unravel. That’s not too far from the day to day truth for most.

Here’s the irony, how do pilots, surgeons, doctors, people who make the inconceivable happen day after day, who are so aware in their work end up with mental trauma and suppressed emotions? Why are they not able to find help? Someone who is mentally unwell should not be behind the controls of a passenger airplane or performing heart surgery. But that’s only a minuscule percentage of the population. The vast majority of the aviators, doctors or the rest of humanity need to process their emotions so the emotions do not make them mentally unstable.

I’ll leave you all with a question. If a human being can learn to be situationally aware in an imminent life threatening situation and get to a successful outcome through learning and practice, why can we all not learn the skills needed to process our emotions, be mindful (situationally aware) and truly enjoy what we cherish in our lives?

#emergencylanding #lessonsfromaviation #mindfulness #mentalwellbeing #needtolearnthis #qstudio #weareofthemind

Credits: The picture in this post is not mine. It was shared by someone and found its way to me through a messaging app. If you clicked this picture, please drop us a line and we’ll update this section with your details.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *