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Timing is everything
When it comes to aviation, timing is certainly everything. I pondered this as my friend Bob and I worked on timing the magnetos on his yet to be born, RV-10. [br]
You see, the mags have to be aligned and adjusted to precisely fire the spark plugs at just the right time to ignite the fuel air mixture in each cylinder. It is a beautifully orchestrated dance when the timing is on, but when it’s not, it’s a train wreck! [br]
The same can be said for a lot if things in life, but in the field of flying time is vital, it is the fabric of how we move through each and every event. [br]
Since virtually every incident or accident is a confluence of multiple events, we note that timing is really the most important player. I refer to Mr. Reason’s Swish Cheese Model. Two airplanes collide due to impeccably bad timing. Fuel exhaustion occurs when we don’t manage our time properly. One hour the weather at the destination is fine, the next it’s not, again time is at play. None of these threats can manifest without time as the vehicle. [br]
I was at diner recently with a friend who flies for a major airline, and while he had some early breaks and got to “the show” at a relatively young age – he’s still in the right seat after almost two decades – timing. The industry is very cyclical and even if you exploit the cycle well earlier in your career, it does mean you won’t get smacked down later in the game. [br]
Not to be negative, the truth is thousands of pro pilots have stellar careers, but some have careers that mimic a poorly timed 4 cylinder Lycoming, utterly random and very rough. My personal success in aviation is largely attributed to good timing. [br]
Certainly the timing of life circumstances has a significant influence on our flying. Marriage, kids, career, health, prosperity and a host of other good or bad things can all create or destroy our flying dreams. Some persevere, other succumb, but it’s really all about timing. [br]
As we move through space, time can be our friend or it can be our foe. I would suggest we employ the former to the extent possible in our life and in our flying.
If only it were as scripted and predictable as adjusting those magnetos, of course that might take all the fun out of it. [br]
Maybe this explains why pilots like big watches. [br]
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