Why Harrison Ford Survived Plane Crash

Tony Hughes


Harrison Ford executed a brilliant landing on Penmar Golf Course in Venice, California. The cause of the mishap is not yet known but he did exactly the right thing in the way he managed the landing in a highly populated area. He has been hospitalized with non life-threatening injuries and should make a full recovery.

The most likely cause of the accident is mechanical failure with his WWII aircraft but this is not the first plane crash he has experienced. He previously survived forced landings back in 1999 and 2000. The first was in Lincoln, Nebraska and the second also in California but well outside Los Angeles. Twitter is going nuts and we're all pulling for him. He is a brave man and obviously a talented pilot:

My flying instructor taught me that confidence is usually the feeling you have just before you understand the situation, and also that you start your flying career with a bag full of luck and an empty bag of experience... the trick is to fill the bag of experience before you empty the bag of luck. I think Harrison Ford now has a full bag of experience, especially when you combine all of his experience with a float plane crash in Six days and Seven Nights, biplane stunts in Indiana Jones, and death defying maneuvers in the Millennium Falcon.

Seriously, he knows that any landing you walk away from is a good one. That's what my father taught me when I went Hans Solo for first time in a single seat sports aircraft. Keep the aircraft flying all the way to the ground regardless of terrain; never let it stall. Harrison Ford's plane is probably a write-off but he walked away, just like I did on my plane crash pictured below. I had an engine failure above a pine forest and the link above will take you to the full account.

Here are 20 RULES OF THE AIR (also for leadership on the ground and in the boardroom) which I'm sure Harrison Ford would attest to:

  1. Learn from the mistakes of others. You won't live long enough to make all of them yourself.
  2. Good judgment comes from experience. Unfortunately, most experience usually comes from bad judgment.
  3. You start with a bag full of luck and an empty bag of experience. The trick is to fill the bag of experience before you empty the bag of luck.
  4. Confidence is usually the feeling you have just before you understand the situation.
  5. Keep looking around. There's always something you've missed - inside and outside.
  6. Every take-off is optional. Every landing is mandatory. It's always better to be down here wishing you were up there, than up there wishing you were down here. You cannot control prevailing conditions.
  7. Never let an aircraft take you somewhere your brain didn't get to five minutes earlier.
  8. The ONLY time you have too much fuel is when you're on fire.
  9. Both the altitude above you and the runway behind you are of no use at all.
  10. Stay out of clouds. The silver lining everyone keeps talking about might be another airplane. Reliable sources also report that mountains have been known to hide in clouds.
  11. When in doubt, maintain your altitude. No one has ever collided with the sky.
  12. The probability of survival is inversely proportional to the angle of arrival. Large angle of arrival, small probability of survival and vice-versa.
  13. A 'good' landing is one from which you can walk away. A 'great' landing is one after which they can use the plane again.
  14. There are three simple rules for making a smooth landing. Unfortunately no one knows what they are.
  15. Helicopters can't fly; they're just so ugly that the earth repels them. The dictionary should define the word 'helicopter' as 'mechanical contradiction'.
  16. If all you can see out of the window is ground that's going round and round and all you can hear is commotion coming from the passenger compartment, things are not at all as they should be.
  17. Always try to keep the number of landings you make equal to the number of take offs you've made.
  18. In the ongoing battle between objects made of aluminum going hundreds of miles per hour and the ground going zero miles per hour, the ground has yet to lose.
  19. Remember, gravity is not just a good idea - it's the law, and not subject to repeal.
  20. There are old pilots and there are bold pilots. There are however no old bold pilots.

I've come to understand that the outcomes we experience in the air and in life are largely determined by the way we think, feel and act. Bad luck is often not that at all. Every profession has an ethos, a code; and a tried and true set of beliefs and values that drive it forward. There is no better example of leadership excellence in aviation than Captain Richard de Crespigny and the flight crew of QF32. They embodied the very best of leadership to save lives when things went wrong on the largest commercial airliner in the world.

In my own time as a private pilot, there were truisms I embraced: All the runway behind you is of no use at all (always take the time to taxi all the way to the end to provide as much runway in front of you as possible. If you have an engine problem, you'll be able to abort or land more safely). You only have too much fuel on board if you're on fire (always have maximum reserves in case you get lost, the head-wind is stronger than anticipated or the weather turns bad and you have to find an alternate field).


Tony Hughes is ranked as the #1 influencer on professional selling in Asia-Pacific and is a keynote speaker and best selling author. This article was originally published in LinkedIn where you can also follow Tony's award winning blog. Also visit Tony's keynote speaker website at www.TonyHughes.com.au or his sales methodology website at http://www.rsvpselling.com/.

Main image photo by Flickr: El Hormiguero


Please Share: If you valued this article, please  share via your Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ and Facebook social media platforms. We encourage you to join the conversation or ask questions. So feel free to add a comment on this post below.

Your Invitation: We invite you to subscribe to this blog. Subscription is free and it allows you to get access to all our subscriber only content and our periodic newsletter.


Are you searching for advice that will help you grow and manage sales - or lead your sales team? You are likely to find it here. This site brings you some of the latest expert thought leadership content on business to business (B2B) sales from the SMA Sales Masterminds.








SMA Masterminds
© 2018 All Rights Reserved.