This is the airplane I recently left Hawaii on. I took this picture from the departure lounge, and if you look closely you can see the pylon cones and the ladder leaning up against the engine. That’s because, while going through the pre-flight check, someone identified a problem.

It turns out it was just a small leak somewhere in the engine, a broken seal somewhere, but they had to find a replacement part, so the flight that had been scheduled to leave at 8:30 p.m. didn’t get to take off until 11:30. That’s the kind of thing that is easy to complain about, but really, I don’t mind being late if it means being alive and safe.

 

This reminded me again of the importance of checklists. There is a tendency among some people to think of checklists as the enemy—part of a mindless, routine way of doing things that doesn’t allow for creativity and spontaneity. But as I wrote about previously, a good checklist when diligently employed has been proven to literally be a lifesaver in some situations.

That airline crew in Hawaii was going through its checklist and someone spotted an issue that needed to be addressed. Some people may feel a little unsettled when they see their plane being worked on, but personally, I felt reassured. It tells me that their systems are working and their people are on the ball.

So thank you, Air Canada, for following those checklists and for delivering me safe and sound to Vancouver, where tomorrow I will watch my eldest son get married. Stay tuned.