two kinds of writing — observations

In flight test, as in many areas of expertise, I think there are, at least, two kinds of written communication. The first is what I will call “test team comments.” There has been a place on almost every test card created for qualitative observations made by flight test crews in the heat of the moment, a comment about air quality or workload or whatever else seems relevant then and there. These kinds of observations are just blurted out, and the exigency of the situation demands a way to capture and communicate these data.

The second kind of communication is the flight report and ultimately the test report. It is a well-documented and organized account of test methodology and results or finding. In this case, some synthesis and analysis have taken place. This step takes more time, but we could not come to meaningful conclusions without this deliberation.

Both forms of communication are important.

I believe a similar strategy is appropriate for communicating with you, the reader and the larger community of technical leaders. Sometimes I will have something I need to blurt out. In that case, expect it to show up as quote, for example, rather than a complete blog post. If necessary, I may forgo the website and will post it in various social media forums. Other times, I will curate information and disseminate it in a more traditional format. Ultimately, I want to continually inform, inspire, and invest in leaders facing uncertain times with the unconventional wisdom needed to chart a course to the future they envision. To accomplish that goal, I need and cherish your input and feedback.

Life is a journey. And these are observations from ours.


You’ve just read observations, a column that illustrates in my personal life and leadership the technical concepts found in ATOMs.

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