Sunday, 14 July 2013

The Canada Goose and why we need Age Management

"Darling, I've just had an accident."
Chesley B. Sullenberger

On 15 January 2009, an Airbus lost engine power and ditched on the Hudson River after having struck a flock of Canada Geese. It was the first time in fifty years that an airliner managed to successfully land on water without fatalities (via). According to aviation psychologists, what could have become a disaster turned into the "Miracle on the Hudson" due to the fact that experience makes people recognise problems earlier. Unlike today's movie heroes, at the time, Captain Chesley Sullenberger was 57 years old and had been flying for about 40 years (via), his co-pilot Jeff Skiles had more than 20 years experience. In his posting about age and recruiting, Mai asks the question if Sullenberger - in a fictitious scenario - would have had a chance to get the job had he applied two years earlier. "Sorry, Mr Sullenberger. You are surely good and have achieved a lot but, well, there are younger colleagues out there in their mid thirties who also want the job. They are better and cheaper." (via) The next time we come across clichees concerning age (resulting in a reluctance to hire the "not so young") we might reflect on the effects of a successful ditching and saving 155 people's lives...


photograph of man holding duck, taken by Vivian Maier via, of woman walking with goose in Berlin, taken by Ruth Jacobi via

The original posting has been updated.

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