You likely remember the “Miracle on the Hudson” where pilot “Sully” Sullenberger managed to land an Airbus A320 on the river following loss of his engines. You might have also seen the incredible video of the TransAsia plane crashing into a elevated highway before falling into a river. Similar scenarios with vastly different outcomes. Why?
The answer is rooted in our response to danger. Sullenberger was an experienced pilot with 20,000 hours in the cockpit while the pilot of the Transasia plane had only 5,000. Sullenberger could control his panic response thanks to his extensive training while the other pilot let his response overwhelm.