• Experience is proportional to mistakes

Slipping down final in the biplane, eyeballing the tall grass wafting in the breeze on the runway ahead, I asked myself why there were brown places in the middle of the landing area. Worn spots in the farmer's seldom-used runway seemed unlikely. An area of hard pan where grass wouldn't grow seemed a possible answer, but....

Mentally committed to landing, I didn't go around and use the opportunity for a thrilling low-pass and a more important look-see at what was really on the runway.

Feathers and guts exploded from beneath the nose just as I touched down proving that airplanes and wild turkeys are not birds of a feather, they should not flock together.

The FAA inspector in the brilliant green Fleet that landed behind me thought the whole brown explosion was hilarious. The turkeys, I'm sure, did not. The friendly Fed pointed out, still chuckling, that the regs require a pilot to determine runway conditions before landing. Furthermore, he assured me, that is always a valid reason for a low pass at an uncontrolled runway, should an unfriendly inspector ever inquire.

If you're lucky, and you don't break anything or hurt anyone in the process, there are lessons to be learned from such experiences. Better yet, you can learn from the mistakes of others. And I have lots to share. I hope you'll come back, pass the URL of this blog on to others, and add a link to your site.

Disclaimer: even if you learn something from the mistakes and experiences you find here, you will make mistakes of your own. Mistakes are inevitable. How you handle mistakes is what's important. Flying (and life, for that matter) is all about what you do when thing aren't going according to plan.

Blue skies and tailwinds,



Post a Comment