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Disclaimer: the inspiration for this post comes from my minor obsession with coffee.
It real doesn’t matter where you are in the spectrum of aviation, sometimes we just need a little jolt to remind us why we have embarked on this journey.
Indulge me as I draw parallels between my other vice, Starbucks, and different ways to enliven your flying.
So might I suggest a couple of things from the menu below:
Black coffee house blend = FLY MORE. Keep doing what you are doing, except do it more. If you fly once a week, double or triple it for a period of time. It might be surprised by the difference it can make in both skills and confidence. You can apologize to your wallet later.
Caffè Latte = FLY LIGHTER. If you are flying heavier airplanes, consider getting checked out in a Light Sport or something comparable. This will give you a fresh perspective that can really wake up your stick-and-rudder skills that might be dormant from driving the bigger iron.
Nonfat Caffè Americano = GLIDERS. One of the best ways to invigorate your flying is to strap on a glider. Soaring will teach you a ton about flying and aerodynamics. I promise this will translate to your normal repertoire. It worked for Sully.
Mocha Frappuchino = SKIS. Shifting to cold drinks, how about some ski plane flying. You might have to travel to pull this one off, but you’ll likely be the only kid on the block with this kind of experience. Maybe make it a part of a vacation experience?
Passion Tea = FLOATS. A refreshing splash in the water via float plane might be just trick for getting out of your flying rut. This is much more prevalent than ski plane flying so finding a school shouldn’t be a big issue. This one is also compatible with the vacation experience.
Espresso = TAILDRAGGER. Want to liven up your flying, some tailwheel flying will wake you up! This is one of my favorite pass times, outside of an espresso. It will also make you a better all-around pilot, like many of these on the menu.
Double espresso = ACRO. If you really want a jolt, I like a healthy shot of aerobatics. This will get the heart rate up and create some real focus. The nice thing is, you don’t need a lot of aerobatic flight time to learn an amazing amount. The learning curve is short and steep, at least to get the basics. I highly recommended it and it could save your bacon some day.
So step out of your comfort zone and try something new. Shaking things up a bit can have a really good influence on your flying.
More Starbucks Parallels
Getting away from the menu concept, let’s draw upon another lesson from Starbucks – it’s really the secret of their success. How do they create such an enticing atmosphere that encourages folks to hang-out and buy overpriced coffee? We could spend hours discussing “value propositions”, “instant gratification”, “social norms” and “cultural drivers”, but no one would argue that flying has a lot more to offer than a foo-foo latte.
I would love to see this “cult of coffee” emulated at our local airports. And maybe it does at a few locales.
Starbucks tip #127 When in the drive thru, pay the bill for the car behind you. This is a fun and relatively painless way to “pay it forward”. Flying’s version would be to take someone for an airplane ride, free of course.
Drink (and fly) responsibly!
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