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Right and Wrong. One answer is right, and the other is wrong because there can only be one right, right?
I’ve been seeing a lot of chatter across the internet (facebook, forums, twitter, emails to me) about how there is one right way of doing things with flight.
If you’re looking for all the right answers to your flying questions, you’ve come to the wrong place here at Angle of Attack. Hear me out.
An aviator is nothing but an intelligent decision maker. As a virtual aviator, you make decisions on a continuous basis, and you have to make those decisions really fast;, ‘on-the-fly’ as it were.
There is not a pilot in the sky, or an aviator for that matter, that can recall everything he or she has learned from text and sources and instantly have the right answer. THIS PERSON DOES NOT EXIST. If you are trying to be this person, stop trying.
An aviator is educated on consequences to their actions. Consequences to their machinery, their passengers, their health, their safety. Everything you will learn from Angle of Attack or another source of information is only there to teach you PART of the decision making process.
What are the other parts of the decision making process, in very simple and non-scientific terms in my mind when it comes to a pilot?
2. Gut Instinct
3. Intelligent Action
Knowledge is the first and the least important of all the steps. Yes, I know that sounds crazy, but I’ve known of some knowledgeable pilots that have gotten their licenses and then done some really stupid things. Things that didn’t make sense at all.
So although the aviation education system teaches you bits of knowledge (AOA included) it only goes so far. This system cannot be there in the cockpit with you when you are flying.
Your education doesn’t matter anymore the second you leave the ground. At that point, it is all up to you.
Sometimes there is something in the pit of your stomach that tells you to do things a certain way. This ‘6th sense’ is more a culmination of experience and observance than it is something you’re just born with.
I don’t believe pilots are simply born great. You’ve got to work at it. You’ve got to earn that gut instinct that whispers in your ear and says, ‘I’ve been in this situation before and I don’t think I want to do that, what are my other options?’.
Gut instinct is therefore, in my mind, much more important than knowledge.
I do not consider myself to be a ‘smart’ person. I was average in grade school and I flunked out of college. I was never really fast at reading and I never got into the more advanced maths. I also do not write like an english professor.
But I do consider myself to be an intelligent person, or, at least and intelligent aviator.
I know that fuel in my tanks is sacred, altitude below me is a blessing, and a smooth day in the air is a sign that I should be on alert. I’m a decision maker. I think things through. I don’t take risks. And I stay put when things aren’t looking good enough for my comfort zone.
I take my knowledge, and then I take my gut instinct, and I make an intelligent decision. One that is right in my mind at the time, and for that situation on that day.
If you’re looking for a book with all the answers, a course that’ll teach you all you need to know about every fine detail of flying, or somewhere that’ll make decisions for you, you’re looking in the wrong place. This ‘place’, if you’re looking for it, is as unachievable as a pot-of-gold at the end of a rainbow. It doesn’t exist, my friend.
However, if you’re looking for a way to be intelligent in your aircraft, even if they’re virtual, you’ve landed at the right airport here at AOA. Our teaching methods are unconventional and our thoughts are a bit wacky at times, but they work, and you will become a confident aviator that can take nearly any situation in a flying craft and turn it around in your favor.
There is NO right way, or wrong way… There is only the airway in front of you and the brain above you.
Comment below on your thoughts on doing everything perfect on your flights. Do you get stuck in the trap of trying to be perfect all the time? If so, how can you start looking at your virtual flying in a different way? How can you improve your gut instinct and intelligent action?
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