Sunday, December 19, 2010

Its time...

I have to put a stake in the ground; with myself. Do I believe I am PIC material? Do I have the capability to learn what I need to learn? Can I learn how to fly the airplane safely? Do I have the discipline to do it safely? Am I willing to do what it takes? No sloppiness, no sitting back and letting stuff happen, no half measures. Do it "whole assed" not "half assed". Do I deserve the joy of flight?

It is odd that I would be asking these questions now... 24+ hours and $4000 into my flight training. If I really doubted I belonged in the air (safely in an airplane and as PIC), I wouldn't have started. So why am I asking? I think its because I'm scared.

I guess it starts a month ago (only two lessons ago). I was making dangerous mistakes. And I learned a bit about my personality too... surprising and scary too. Dangerous mistakes and a habit of letting things happen, instead of taking charge of them and fixing them immediately. Those two combined can be a deadly combination. Most recent lesson 3 weeks later. More dangerous mistakes.

Make a little mistake driving, be a little sloppy, usually no one dies. Make a little mistake in the pattern, it could immediately kill you, or, if you let that mistake go w/o fixing and make more mistakes later on, that could kill you too. The range for mistakes in aviation seems to go from embarrassment to death with various levels of damage to ego, property, limb and life in between.

I'm not pretending I have any hope of being perfect but I need to make many less mistakes to be able to fly safely and when I do make them, fix them quickly and correctly. I'm rambling. *sigh*

Back to the decision at hand. Do I give up? or do I go forward? Learn from the mistakes, stop repeating them (maybe by consciously recognizing the seriousness of the consequences if certain mistakes are made?) and eventually learn and consistently demonstrate the skills and attitudes needed to be a safe pilot. Do what it takes to be a safe pilot. Earn the right to fly myself to where I want to go and eventually take other people up above to show them how incredible the world can be?

Yeah.... I go forward. It won't be easy. It will be harder until I instill in myself the right habits and processes and procedures and methods to be a safe pilot. But I have everything going for me. A supportive husband who has been through this process, a supportive daughter who thinks flying is "OK", friends that are excited for me... the finances available for me to afford however long it takes, and, I think most important, a CFI that will make me do it right and won't sign me off for anything I'm not safe to do.

I suppose the fact that "going forward" right now means flying the traffic pattern over and over and over and over, lesson after lesson, until I get it right is what I have to do. And the other thing I have to do is not just let things happen and be totally conscious of what I'm doing.

Let's go!

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