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Two life lessons learned by watching Air Crash Investigation

By Marcus Santer

Ollie’s on school holidays and Clarabella’s away seeing her family.

I’m amazed I’ve managed to get any work done. Because there are few people on this planet I enjoy spending my time with as much as my son Oliver.


I went upstairs yesterday to check on him.

As I climbed the stairs I could tell he was watching a documentary and from the sound of it, it was very interesting.

Turns out it’s a program called: Air Crash Investigation

And within a few minutes I was hooked.

The build up to the crash, the way the tension is cranked up, the crash and then the events leading up to the crash are dissected to see what caused the crash.

It’s tense stuff and I can see why it’s so popular.

Though as Ollie added later:

“The only problem with the program is it makes you not want to fly.”

He’s right.

And it seems to go by a number of different names: Mayday, Air Emergency, Air Disasters depending on where in the world you are and it’s been going since 2003.

I only watched one episode and I’m going to have to guard my time very carefully because the format makes for addictive viewing.

But watching that single episode I learned two very important life lessons.

Here they are:

1) Check lists – Pilots seem to have a check list for everything. In the episode I watched they had a check list for what to do when an engine stops, what to do when both engines stop and even what to do in the event of landing in the sea.

These check lists are the result of previous experience and best practice. They make it easier for the pilot and crew to take appropriate action in stressful situations.

And they’re constantly evolving as more experience is gained.

2) More than one – It quickly became obvious to me that there’s usually no single event leading up to a crash, it’s more common that there is a sequence of errors leading up to the crash.

For example in the episode I watched you had:

The wrong fuel gauge been fitted –> So the tanks appeared to have more fuel in than they did –> The pilot took off without refuelling –> The engines ran out of fuel mid flight –> The pilot didn’t feather the props on the dead engines –> The pilot’s airspeed was too fast.

All of which lead to the plane not being able to glide to land and instead having to crash into the sea.

Do you see how these two lessons can apply to and benefit your life?

Just in case:

1) Have a check list – When you’re running on empty or feeling out of sorts use a check list to make certain your not missing something important. HALT is one I use a lot. It stands for:

2) It’s not one thing – Realise loss of good health, vitality and happiness is rarely the result of a single event. So make certain you’re:

All of which you’ll find covered in my book ZEN+ The Art and Science of Living Healthier for Longer. It’s not just a book, it’s a blueprint for flying high, living your best life and avoiding unnecessary crashes.

And it’s available now for immediate download –> Click here

Bon Voyage


P.S. I was watching a UK series called Merlin on Netflix with Ollie last night.

King Arthur, Knights of the round table, Camelot, magic and all that jazz.

Richard Wilson plays a character called: Gaius who mentors the young Merlin and he’s always wearing fingerless gloves.

I pointed this out to Ollie, but instead of saying: ‘Fingerless gloves’…

I said…

“Crotchless mittens.”

I don’t know why, but the thought of crotchless mittens still makes me laugh now as I type it.

Ah, happy days.