“Unless you are a pilot,” he added. “Or a brain surgeon.”
It’s not often that you sit in a business conference, writing down tips on how to run your business and hear about pilots. I did a double take. The speaker was Rob Moore, a property millionaire, and that is the title of his latest book. The aim is to kickstart people into action, but the caveat was, unless you are a pilot.
As a pilot myself, it made me think of the good wishes I had received when I first got my licence. “Now the learning really starts,” someone said, adding, “the licence is just so you don’t go out and kill yourself.” So yes, in one way the author’s statement is entirely true. There are many things where you can wing it, but flying an aeroplane isn’t one of them.
Think back to when you got that envelope in the post, which signed you off with the CAA as a pilot. What did you know then? I mean, really know? In fact, that is why I started writing this blog, because there was so much I didn’t know, I was sure others could benefit from me charting my learning curve. And what a steep learning curve it has been. I have packed in many many hours – lots in the air and a whole lot more sitting drinking tea, waiting for the wind to drop, the cloud to lift or my confidence to re-appear.
The further along that road to perfection you go, the more you realise that your licence was pretty much base camp and you have a massive mountain to scale ahead of you. There are so many significant milestones along the way – your first out-landing, your first crosswind join, or ATC contact. It is vital to take note of them. Otherwise they get lost in a blur of take-offs and landings, especially if you leave the comments column in your logbook blank. And it doesn’t matter what sort of pilot you are, or how experienced, you will always find someone who has flown further, in worse weather conditions than anything that you have done.
The aim is to celebrate what you have done, even if it is only to the water-tower and back today. Perfection isn’t really on the checklist. A good landing is one you can walk away from, and every one of them is different. So yes, start now, get perfect later. Even if you are a pilot.