When the time for pragmatism has passed…


Conventional wisdom is usually your best bet in many circumstances.  But there are times when following regular protocol and procedure is not a good option.  Following the rules can ensure failure in some cases.

What I have in mind is a story from the waning moments of the Vietnam war and an amazing last ditch effort. 


In a desperate bid to escape a Vietnamese pilot commandeered a Chinook helicopter, loaded up his family and headed out to sea.  Short on fuel they found the USS Kirk. 

Unfortunately, the large twin rotor helicopter was too big to land on the ship, but undeterred they hovered over the deck and dropped children into the waiting arms of sailors. 

The copilot bailed, but the pilot had to find a way to ditch in the ocean and survive.  So he lowered the aircraft, tilted it one way and jumped the other.  His strategy worked.  The pilot survived the crash unscathed and was rescued.


Following the rules would not have produced the desired results in those circumstances.  Determination, not losing hope despite obstacles and creative effort were the keys to success.

Sometimes winning requires wrecking a few helicopters.