Absurdly Driven looks at the world of business with a skeptical eye and a firmly rooted tongue in cheek. 

It was the plane that launched a thousand screams.

Online, that is.

When footage, captured by Big Jet TV, emerged of a British Airways flight from Hyderabad, India attempting to land in storm winds at London's Heathrow Airport last Friday, many stared, marveled and then, quite naturally, clicked Retweet.

The Boeing 787 Dreamliner swayed, as if the plane itself doubted this maneuver was wise.

At one point, it seemed as if the plane would keel over to its right, just before it touched the ground.

The rear wheels hit the runway hard. Indeed, the person filming the action emitted an "Oh, my God." And he was just observing.

The plane immediately aborted landing and took off again for what's known in the trade as a go around.

Every time such footage emerges, I marvel at the sanguine ability of pilots to make split-second decisions.

They might only have to perform such a maneuver once or twice in a year. Or even in two years or more.

These pilots weren't to know that, at the very last moment, the plane would suffer such wind shear. 

Without the right training, however, damage can be done.

It's an area of business -- any business -- that's often overlooked. 

Training is something that's often viewed as a chore, a nuisance, something that takes you away from the glorious grind of reaching the next rung of a busily swinging ladder.

But done right, it can make the difference between excellence and mediocrity. And, in the case of an airline, between life and death.

Pilots tend to be blasé about this sort of thing. It's a routine maneuver. It's no big deal.  

We watch such footage and try and put ourselves in the position of a passenger. That's not so easy. 

Thankfully, footage from inside the plane has just emerged. It was taken by a passenger, Sai Krishna Silveri. 

First there's silence. That can sometimes happen when passengers feel a landing may be frighteningly bumpy. 

But when the wheels hit the runway hard, loud screams emerge.

The plane then takes off again and silence returns.

And that's the point at which the training truly matters.

I have a feeling the pilot might have turned to his co-pilot and muttered in a matter-of-fact British way: "That was a bit of a bump."

As far as Silveri was concerned, this was a little more than that. He told Storyful

It felt something like what you experience on a rollercoaster drop. It was quite a frightening experience and everyone on the flight was nervous during the second attempt, but kudos to the pilot. He did a great job.

No, every job isn't as potentially dangerous as a pilot's. 

We live, though, in an era in which expertise is sometimes decried. Scientific expertise, for example.

Training -- the right training -- is something that might just be worth respecting.

Currently in the U.S. there's a shortage of pilots. Even if you get through the training, the job isn't necessarily glamorous at first.

Still, never imagine that the kindly-sounding person who might welcome you on board once you've reached your cruising altitude hasn't had rigorous training for moments such as these.

Published on: Feb 11, 2019
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