Trashing Brands and Other Stuff
Yeah, right. Tell that to John Rigas of Adelphia Corp. The 82-year-old founder is looking at 15 years in the slammer. He used the company as his private piggy bank, running up off-the-balance sheet private debt on bank loans of $2.3 billion.
10/26/06. Good Pilots and Dead Pilots: Flying as a Metaphor for Business
When New York Yankees pitcher Cory Lidle and his instructor crashed a Cirrus SR 20 high-performance two-seater sport plane into a high-rise condo on 72nd Street and the Hudson River, most analysts agreed that they were out of their element. “There are two kinds of pilots,” my late family friend, Miles H. Vernon—himself a superb pilot—used to say, “good pilots and dead pilots.”
The story looked into a number of private plane crashes over the years that killed some high-profile people: Will Rogers and Wiley Post, Elizabeth Taylor’s husband, Michael Todd, New York Yankee catcher Thurmon Munson, John F. Kennedy, Jr. and the son of NBC Sports producer, Dick Ebersol.
It turns out that dead pilots turn up in commercial airlines. When Comair Flight 5191 killed 49 when it crashed on take-off at the Lexington, Kentucky’s Blue Grass Airport on August 27, it was quickly determined that the pilot had used the wrong runway—one that was unlighted and too short for a jet of that size.
On January 18, the cockpit tapes were released and it turns out that the goofball pilot and co-pilot (who was the only survivor)—instead of concentrating on the pre-flight checklist—were chit-chatting about their dogs, pay and working conditions. This was a clear violation of the 1981 Federal Aviation Regulations FAR 121.542/135.100, also known as the “Sterile Cockpit Rule:
b) No flight crew member may engage in, nor may any pilot in command permit, any activity during a critical phase of flight which could distract any flight crew member from the performance of his or her duties or which could interfere in any way with the proper conduct of those duties. Activities such as eating meals, engaging in non-essential conversations within the cockpit and non-essential communications between the cabin and cockpit crews, and reading publications not related to the proper conduct of the flight are not required for the safe operation of the aircraft.