8th Anniversary of flight QF32

Today is the anniversary of flight QF32, an event that changed many people’s lives.

Engine number 2

Coral and I send our best wishes to every person who helped us that day, including the passengers and crew on board. It was a masterful team effort by many people in at least eight teams. It is also a great example of the resilience that has been built up in the aviation industry in nearly 115 years since the first powered flight by the Wright brothers on the 17th of December 1903.

For the 469 people on board “Nancy-Bird Walton” that day, not one of us wanted to be involved in this event.  But great things happen when preparation meets opportunity.

My life changed forever after that flight.   I discovered post traumatic stress.  I used to have black hair.  I  took aviation’s resilience for granted.   I knew little about resilience in other industries.

My life immediately took a new trajectory. My “Big Jets” book (30% completed) would be put on the “back burner” and all my efforts redirected to document the story of QF32 and then the elements of personal and corporate resilience (FLY!).

No one is born resilient. The eight elements of resilience must be learned. We must lead, form teams and engage with and harness the disruptors. We must be comfortable being uncomfortable and courageous to surf the edges of chaos and in doing so, expect the unexpected . We must take intelligent risks, step up, change and adapt.

Every one of us must commit a lifetime of reading, learning, adjusting and retrying.  We must welcome failure, accepting them as stepping stones to success.  When you fail, fail fast, fail well and never give up.  Fail in the little things so you get the big things right.

The Elements of Resilience can to used help people survive crises.  Remember, there can be growth from crisis and trauma.  In the good times, these same elements of resilience help us thrive.

There has never been a better time to be alive. There has never been a better time to take intelligent risks.   (Read Factfulness and Enlightenment Now if you don’t appreciate these opportunities.)

Thank you again to the pilots, cabin crew, passengers and everyone who made QF32 an outstanding success.   QF32 was never my win.  It was always a team win and good leaders acknowledge their teams.  Good leaders know that in an orchestra, it’s the musicians that make the music.

Now it’s your turn to face the disruptors, surf the edge of chaos and FLY!

Me in front of Coplu’s – “QF32”

Top Image.   A painting by Coplu (to be analysed in a future post) 

4 thoughts on “8th Anniversary of flight QF32

  1. Richard,

    I feel most privileged to have been given such insights as you provide in QF32 and FLY!. At 65 years through my “flight” you have provided a thoughtful, inspiring and breath-taking challenge. Its credibility will ever be marked in the extraordinary accomplishments that the QF32 episode evidences.

    Thank you.


    1. Thanks Brent for your kind words.
      It is my privilege to have produced FLY!, and to have people read it!
      My aim throughout is to use my experiences to help people fortify their passion, engage their drive and to reach their full potential to lead purposeful, meaningful and fulfilling lives. None of us could ask or hope for anything more.
      Best wishes,


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