Steven Appleton, the long-time CEO at memory chip maker Micron Technology, died this morning in a crash of an experimental plane in the company's hometown of Boise, Idaho. He was 51 years old and one of the youngest CEOs and chairman in the Fortune 500. According to a statement released by Micron, Appleton died at Boise Airport …
Sad for his wife, his kids, his company and colleagues. That's too young, but he was doing what he cared for, and you can't ask for much more. He rose through the ranks at Micron -- nice to see that.
Not enough people in business with a real sense of adventure. We just lost one.
What can one say? Other than........
......respect and condolences to his family.
RIP Steve Appleton
Not just a visionary, but also a man who obviously likes to live life at its fullest.
Rest in peace and condolences to the family and friends
Condolences and Contemplations
Condolences - certainly.
Admiration - for him doing what he loved to do.
Contemplation - human fallibility. I wonder if Mr. Appleton got into a "mode" of human behavior I've seen before, in which one's desires overrides one's prudence. Six years ago I saw an airshow fighter jet crash where this mode seemed to be what was happening.
0 - In late afternoon, jet pilot prepares to leave airshow for his home airport. Conditions CAVU.
1 - Jet is towed to base of runway.
2 - Engine (it was a single-engine jet) spools up, then spools down.
3 - Jet is towed to the side of the field.
4 - People (pilot, mechanics, others?) do things to the jet.
5 - Jet is towed back to takeoff position.
6 - Engine spools up, makes pooh-pooh-pooh sounds of unsteady flame.
7 - Pilot runs engine faster, then slower, faster, then slower. Occasional pooh-pooh sounds heard.
8 - Pilot leaves engine at steady speed. No more pooh-pooh sounds.
9 - Pilot runs engine up to (presumably) full power, begins take-off roll.
10 - Pilot has a looooong take-off roll, uses 95% of available runway (other jets used 60~75%), and has an extremely low angle-of-climb.
11 - Pilot clears trees by 50 feet.
12 - Pilot flies away from airport, out of sight.
13 - Pilot flies back towards airport, still just 50 feet over the trees.
14 - Pilot flies past airport.
15 - Jet, obscured by trees, disappears from view.
16 - Silence.
17 - Loud boom, orangey fireball, and dirty black smoke.
18 - Pilot killed, no other injuries (crashed into a house).
That jet pilot was well-qualified. He was the only one authorized at that time by the FAA to train other pilots on that jet (Hawker Hunter MK58).
Yet, he decided the jet was "good to go" when pre-take-off symptoms indicated it well might *not* have been.
Humans create systems which magnify human power; these systems also magnify the consequences of human failure.
Yeah - there's an old saying that it's better to be on the ground wishing you were in the air, than to be in the air wishing you were on the ground. The worst thing is to be under pressure, bcos you'll rush your preflight thinking "it was all OK last time", but faults are no respecters of experience. Shortly after I qualified on hang-gliders, my instructor's assistant (early 40s, been flying all his life) did a demo flight for a student but didn't clip in properly. He fell several hundred feet, and was lucky to get away with "only" both legs badly broken and a month or so in hospital. Check it or check out...
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