Saturday, November 13, 2010

Perfect Flight

The joy of life consists in the exercise of one's energies, continual growth, constant change, the enjoyment of every new experience. To stop means simply to die. The eternal mistake of mankind is to set up an attainable ideal.
My CFI and I had an interesting conversation yesterday. I said I was trying to master the traffic pattern. He said no one masters flying.

"What about 'No such thing as good enough'?", I asked.

He said, "That's right, but perfect flight doesn't happen. I've tried. You have to strive for perfect, but you won't get there."

I'm pretty sure most happy student pilots think their CFI must be the best pilot ever, or close to it. I'm guilty of that failing. Knowing my CFI and his fanatical focus on perfect, I tend to believe him, both that he's tried and that its not possible to be 100% perfect.

However, that doesn't mean it isn't important to try my best to be perfect. My hubby recounted another conversation with this CFI. In this conversation he pointed out how, in some jobs, being right 9 times out of 10 is OK. When flying you have to land 10 times out of 10. That doesn't mean don't go around, but it does mean when you DO land, you'd better do it right.

I am reminded of a picture my parents had on the wall when I was growing up. It was a photo of a hand reaching for the sun. The quote was:

A man's reach should exceed his grasp.

Indeed it should.

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