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Most of the things you will read on this blog about flying is that it’s all unicorns and rainbows! It’s true that flying is one of the most amazing experiences of your life, but it’s not without its frustrations.
Most recently for me I have been chasing an engine problem on my RV8 and thus not getting to fly it. (This will be the subject of another post once I figure it out – as of this writing it’s still AOG.)
This little problem has dragged out all Winter as a result of my hectic schedule, poor weather, and several failed attempts at fixing it. The symptom is an extremely rough running tendency on takeoff. Of course when it coughs and sputters I am obliged to pull the power off and stop on the runway. I don’t know about you, but I think it’s trying to tell me something important; never ignore an airplane that’s talking to you.
It’s frustrating and so far not expensive, but I haven’t solved it yet either. $$$
Flying definitely has its low points.
Another example was back in flight school during instrument training. I really plateaued and it felt like I’d never get it. Then something clicked. It was a great feeling to not let it beat me; my self-esteem soared.
How about the frustrations of building your own airplane? This is extreme in terms of highs and lows. It’s less about mechanical aptitude then it is about perseverance. There were times when I was building the -8 that it seemed too big and too hard, yet I persevered. The payback was off the charts in terms of satisfaction.
Personally my worse setback was bending an airplane due entirely to my poor handling of the controls. I was landing in a grass strip in my Bücker and flared too high. The ensuing drop-in from 5′ bent the right main gear – I was crushed. My boss helped me fix the plane, but the damage to my ego lives on to this day. No pilot wants damage an airplane under his/her command.
In the final analysis the good certainly outweighs the bad. In fact, I’m not so sure that a pinch of frustration here and there doesn’t make the overall experience that much sweeter.
The key is to not turn tail and run at the first sign of trouble. Remember, if it was always easy, it wouldn’t be fun!
“Willpower is the key to success. Successful people strive no matter what they feel by applying their will to overcome apathy, doubt or fear.” – Dan Millman
Remember to have fun out there!
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