I thought that flying an airplane would be so cool - and it was.... I couldn't wait to learn about every dial, gauge, lever, switch, handle, control, radio, etc... Oh the technology.. And also - I'd be able to get anywhere - quickly and easily.
What I didn't expect was how intense and frightening things are when you are trying to control three dimensions instead of two. I drove a car - and loved it... But no amount of driving a car prepares you for the experience of flying an airplane.
And NOTHING can prepare you for the skills you need to master before you get a license. Here's a very short list:
Spoiler Alert - I never got my license. I could handle SLIPPING the airplane. I SOLOed. I experienced STALLING - I think I made it to POWER ON STALLS. But then - some primal part of my brain - whatever part handles personal survival - kicked in and demanded that enough was enough.
Do I wish I finished? Not really. I'm sure that having a pilot's license would be awesome, but I've heard private pilots say that what they really have is the opportunity to buy the world's most expense hamburgers by renting a plane and flying a couple states away only to eat at the airport's lunch counter and then fly home.
And in an emergency - who would I prefer to have flying an aircraft that I'm aboard? Well the answer is ANYBODY BUT ME. Clint Eastwood said it all in Dirty Harry: "A Man's Got to Know his Limitations." How true.
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