In all my years in aviation and for all the tens of thousands of pilots and mechanics I’ve met, I’ve never met a single person who said, “My life was going just great until I got into aviation. That’s when it all went to hell.”
Englaero is English spoken by an individual who mixes a thick dose of aeronautical terms into their vocabulary. To a native English speaker, it’s absolute gibberish. To a college level English teacher with no aeronautical background, it’s incomprehensible.
A dilapidated hangar is the almost magical destination a few dozen teenagers consider to be their home inside the airport fence. It’s where skills are learned, pride is developed, and the path to a better, brighter, more affluent future is glimpsed for the first time by kids who have never had an outlet for their aeronautical dreams.
Beyond all logic and reason there remains a group of nitwits who disparage female pilots because…now, brace yourself for this logic…they’re women.
February is an awkward sort of month. At this point in the year winter is fierce and feels never ending. But if you look, you may find more important things to focus on as winter drags on. I’ll offer my suggestion for two relevant considerations right here: The AOPA Flight Training Scholarships and the live webcast of this year’s R.A. “Bob” Hoover Trophy presentation.
Think there’s no way you could own an airplane? That belief is not based on objective facts, but opinion — an opinion that is largely based on erroneous information, supposition, and perhaps just a tinge of fear. The truth is you probably can afford to own an airplane.
Plan C is the last resort: If I determine the weather is below minimums, I stay put. This is the plan many pilots don’t even consider. Maybe because it feels like a failure. They fear others will think them less than a real pilot.
Logic suggests there’s a really great airport restaurant out there or a hangar filled with treasures an aviation nut like me would enjoy seeing. Perhaps there is town along my route that boasts of having the World’s Largest Ball of Yarn or the best BBQ on the planet. I honestly don’t know — but you might. That’s where the magic happens, when locals share the pride of their little corner of the world with travelers passing through.
How could I have known Bob Hoover and I would walk along a wooded path chatting casually like old friends? Or that I would literally bump into Apollo 8 commander Frank Borman while prowling the hangars of a local airport?
If we set our personal expectations at perfection, we’re really working against our own best interests. The effort to give a perfect performance becomes counter-productive. This may transform a challenging goal into an impossible dream.