LEXINGTON, Ky. — A commuter jet crashed during take off early Sunday and burst into flames, killing 49 people and leaving the lone survivor in critical condition. Investigators were trying to determine if the plane was on the wrong runway and ran out of pavement.
The plane was on the wrong runway. This is either pilot error, control tower error, or a combination of both. And now, we leave fact regarding this particular accident and go into pure speculation.
The pilot was probably unfamiliar with the airport. Even small airports can be confusing, and the control tower can give many instructions rapidly. The pilot should have said, "We're unfamiliar. Can we have progressives to the runway?" But I bet he didn't.
Mr. Evil HR has asked that numerous times and never once has air traffic control refused him.
Each runway has a different number. If the number you are on, doesn't match the number in your notes, again, contact air traffic control and ask for clarification.
How does this relate to your career? (After all, I am here to help.)
Sometimes we are afraid others will think we don't know what we are doing. So we try to do it on our own. We neglect those in the towers that can see the bigger picture. We don't ask for clarification on the instructions we've received. All because we are afraid of what others might think of us.
Who is in the control tower? Your boss, your mentor (get one!), your colleague, your former boss, an old college professor and even your spouse. Ask these people for help and guidance before you do something that is potentially career threatening.
Now, somewhere a pilot is going to say, "But Evil HR Lady, not all airports have control towers." That is true. But you still have resources. You have your airport maps, you can speak to air traffic control, and you can get out of your plane and walk inside the office and ask someone. And if you think your plane can't get off this runway without crashing, don't start the propeller.
You want to be on the right runway. If you need help getting there, get it. Just because you've successfully flown out of hundreds of airports before doesn't mean you are prepared for this airport. Ask, listen, learn and pay attention. And when you learn the lay out of your career airport, make sure you serve in the control tower for others. A crash is good for no one.
I promise, I will be funny tomorrow.