There is a scar on the index finger of my right hand that reminds me of a very important lesson. What you don’t know can hurt you. A corollary to that is what you’ve been told, but don’t believe, can hurt you, too.
That’s how I ended up with that scar. My mom did her duty. She told me the stove was hot and I would be wise not to touch it. But I was a most skeptical 3 year old, so I devised an experiment to see if mom knew what she was talking about. I would not touch the stove, but I would touch the frying pan that was on the stove. It seemed to me that slight bit of insulation, being at least one object away from the burner itself, would ensure my safety.
You know what happened. I left a piece of skin on a hot frying pan and acquired a physical reminder of a lesson that can be plausibly applied to almost any human endeavor. I might have cried a bit, too. I was 3 years old after all, not exactly the best candidate for suffering in silence.
Currently I’m writing up a safety presentation on operating at non-towered airports. Note I didn’t say uncontrolled airports. Non-towered airports are not uncontrolled airports unless the pilots flying into and out of the field insist on it being so.
Unfortunately, a disturbingly high percentage of them do whatever they want, whenever they want, regardless of what their fellow pilots are doing, and with complete disregard for the guidance provided by the FAA via the Aeronautical Information Manual. [Read more…]