Crash: Avoid the Most Common Accidents by Planning for Your Takeoff and Landing

Data from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) reveal that 76% of aviation accidents occur during takeoff or in the final approach and landing.[i] The greater number by far occur at the end of the flight, during the final approach and landing. Clearly, beginnings and endings are challenging and require sound processes to avoid unexpected consequences.

One can encounter many challenges with where to begin. How do you develop a sound starting point and a proper process for takeoff? What is a first step on a journey to build relationships (new or old), careers, worldviews, or wealth?

Accidents may occur at the beginning due to the failure to accelerate and gain adequate lift. Often, these deficiencies may not be fully overcome. We counsel on the necessity of being attentive and intentional in establishing a “flight plan” that allows the challenge of the journey to be undertaken with a proper perspective, and advanced with confidence. An outside voice can be helpful in creating this plan at the outset of your journey.

We are fortunate to have seen many who have navigated a successful takeoff and journey and are nearing their final approach and landing. They have arrived at their destination—or so it seems. But sometimes, these careful navigators don’t recognize the risks still ahead of them in landing well. At times, they may not realize or accept where they are in the journey. Some continue to follow a plan that was healthy and helpful earlier in the journey, accumulating great value, including skills, influence, experiences, relationships, and wealth, but at this point in the journey they should recognize a different objective. They can enhance their final approach and landing by shifting their focus from accumulation to transfers and transitions of knowledge, experience, histories and wealth. This shift can provide a powerful lift and more positive outcomes for others, including heirs and beneficiaries, along their journeys.

As we take off into the new year, we encourage you to embrace the excitement of beginnings that occur and celebrate accomplishments with an awareness of the risks particular to the takeoff and landing in the adventures of your lifetime.

Yogi Berra (Yankee legend, D-Day sailor, and airline passenger) once said, “You’ve got to be very careful if you don’t know where you are going, because you might not get there.” We at Highland would enjoy assisting you in the development of your flight plan so that you can be clear on where you’re going, confident in your progress, and prepared for a well-planned destination, having enjoyed the process and your journey.

Contact Randy Fairfax at 440.808.1500 for more information.


Highland Consulting Associates, Inc. was founded in 1993 with the conviction that companies and individuals could be better served with integrity, impartiality, and stewardship. Today, Highland is 100% owned by a team of owner-associates galvanized around this promise: As your Investor Advocates®, we are Client First. Every Opportunity. Every Interaction.

Highland Consulting Associates, Inc. is a registered investment adviser. Information presented is for educational purposes only and does not intend to make an offer of solicitation for the sale or purchase of specific securities, investments, or investment strategies. Investments involve risk and unless otherwise stated, are not guaranteed. Be sure to first consult with a qualified financial adviser and/or tax professional before implementing any strategy discussed herein. Past performance is not indicative of future performance.

Randy Fairfax, CFP