occasion, a caller will stand out that lends me a moment to pause and celebrate life's challenges.
Whenever it's been awhile since I have had my hands at the controls of an airplane, I develop this fear of the ground. Each turn around the pattern I will be high and end up having to pull back the power to lose altitude while simultaneously slowing down to salvage the approach. For some reason on final today the thought popped into my head that the ground was more afraid of me than I was of it. It's a phrase you'd tell a kid if they came across a bear in the woods but it doesn't make them feel much safer. It's not a phrase that makes much sense in the air, but it made me giggle at the silly concept. The ground is nothing to be afraid of, you have to land eventually!
It's been a rough year for me, looking back upon 2016 at all the should and shouldn't haves and at what was missing. Maybe it has been difficult for you, too. I've heard many a complaint as to how 2016 has been a year to forget. As the holidays approach and the year comes to a close, don't take the easy way out and be hard on yourself for unachieved goals and regrets of the past. Choose the the more challenging path and be kind to yourself instead.
As pilot in command (PIC) of your aircraft, you are responsible for researching all the factors to determine if a flight will be deemed safe. Weather, aircraft airworthiness and your health all play into the go/no-go decision. How often have you considered your state of mind, your emotions, before departing into the sky?
I know two pilots who have incorporated a morning flight into their daily routine when the weather allows. Rising before the sun does, they each depart into a colorful sky before the tower opens, enjoying having the airspace to themselves. When I roll out of the bed when it's dark and cold and I'm tired, the last thing I want to do is drive to the airport. But when I do, I walk into work later as if I'm still in the air. My day starts with an extra positive beat.