Fiery Crashes and Frozen Water Lines

Screen Shot 2018-11-11 at 10.57.25 AM


The man is talking about preparation.

Last night I did not prepare.

It was our first sub freezing temperature night in @LadyLolaMae.  Despite being dressed for a run at the Iditarod Dog Sledding Championship and feeling like we had prepared sufficiently. We, sadly, had not.

Forgetting to bring in the, now frozen solid, water line is such a rookie move. But hey, we are rookies, so cut us some slack, okay?

How is forgetting a water line similar to the fiery crash of a B-17 Bomber?

Screen Shot 2018-11-11 at 11.13.56 AM


As our world has become increasingly complex and distraction filled, so has the opportunity for failure. We have become great at off-loading more and more information into our devices and computers and books so we can know more. But we haven’t yet found a way to get our dinosaur brain to evolve past basic cognitive flaws and simple forgetfulness.

During World War II, the Army asked plane manufacturers to develop a new bomber. Boeing delivered the B17 Bomber. It was the most capable machine of its time and surpassed the Army’s requirements by some 400%. It was also incredibly complicated to fly.

On it’s first test flight, the prototype B-17 took off, rose 300’ into the air, stalled, and crashed – killing everyone on board. It almost bankrupt Boeing.

It was not a mechanical malfunction. It was pilot error. Upon takeoff, due to the complicated nature of the plane, the pilot forgot to disengage a control surface locking mechanism. The Army awarded the contract to another manufacturer.

Boeing pressed on however and, surprisingly, did not invest in more advanced pilot training.

What did Boeing implement that paved the way for the B-17 Flying Fortress to lead the wartime effort and become one of the most recognizable planes in history?


This one page checklist was all that was needed.

Screen Shot 2018-11-11 at 11.11.44 AM

The pilots worked through the list. Nothing was missed. No more crashes due to “simple stupid” items being forgotten. It was that easy.

A simple checklist saved Boeing and it certainly would have saved our water line this morning.

When creating a checklist this article from shared four simple steps to follow…another checklist…as it were.

Screen Shot 2018-11-11 at 11.50.27 AM

Where in your life could you benefit from having simple checklists? Please share below.

We are off to buy a new water hose – see you on the journey.

Leave a Reply