In the book Gift of Wings, Richard Bach writes about the people who look up to the sky to watch airplanes, people who slow down when driving past airports. He says,
“If you act this way, it’s possible that in flight you’ll find much to learn of yourself and of the path of your life on this planet.”
Of course, he’s right. Gentle words reminding us that the sky is a calling. A higher pursuit of man.
And the sky, like the wilderness or the sea, requires our constant application and respect.
“At last I understood what true professionalism is. Being a pilot isn’t all seat-of-the-pants flying and glory. It’s self-discipline, practice, study, analysis and preparation. It’s precision. If you can’t keep the gauges where you want them with everything free and easy, how can you keep them there when everything goes wrong?”
Charles D. Svoboda
Flying magazine, November 1976.
Old editions of Flying magazine are archived by Google books. This amazing article is online for free in the November 1976 edition, and certainly deserves a new audience. It’s about making a foggy zero/zero landing in a huge prop plane. Lots of good stuff for us all to think about:
Jimmy Chin is one of the best mountain climbers alive. He knows fear. And how to manage it:
The full quote, from Outside magazine 19 October 2015:
Fear is always there, it’s a survival instinct. You just need to know how to manage it. It’s about sorting out perceived risk from real risk, and then being as rational as possible with what’s left. Am I in control of the situation? Do I possess the skills and capabilities to succeed? If you answer yes to these kinds of questions, go. But if you answer no, have the guts to turn around. Don’t get paralyzed—get rational.