Bridging the Knowledge Gap: In Search of Expertise

In the early 2000s, the Air Force struggled with a problem: Pilots and civilians were dying because of unusual soil and dirt conditions in Afghanistan. The soil was getting into the rotors of the Sikorsky UH-60 helicopters and obscuring the view of its pilots—what the military calls a “brownout.” According to the Air Force’s senior design scientist, the manager tasked with solving the problem didn’t know where to turn quickly to get help. As it turns out, the man practically sitting across from him had nine years of experience flying these Black Hawk helicopters in the field, but the manager had no way of knowing that. 

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