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Inner Art of Airmanship
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Inner Art of Airmanship

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"I knew my personal limits. It was my pride to know my abilities and those of the airplanes I flew. Still, there was always a part of me that knew I could dart outside the limits for a bit and sneak back in quickly."

Excellent read: http://bit.ly/1gd6LuN
Relive a harrowing tale of crashing an Aviat Husky in Montana after a balked off-airport landing .
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Formation aerobatic pilot Christophe Deketelaere on the perpetual pursuit.

Quote from an article on the Breitling Jet Team in the July, 2015, 'AOPA Pilot' magazine (http://bit.ly/1FE8kGG)
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Landing forces us to be mindful. The trick is to attain mindfulness in the rest of our flying.

Quote is from 2005 book, 'Wherever You Go There You Are' (http://amzn.to/1LrPaZN). Photo is a North American T-6 Texan landing in New Zealand.
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In 2011, before the Asiana B777 crash, before the UPS A300 crash, industry experts were talking about automation addiction. It's in an excellent AP news story "Automation in the air dulls pilot skill" (http://yhoo.it/1GUHOy5).

Think they were onto something? How do you stay sharp?
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This is a great article.  I've said this before. Back in the day (70's and 80's) if something went wrong with the autopilot, auto throttles or auto land, you simply disconnected the errant subsystem and flew the airplane by hand.  There was no "automation addiction".  Seems to day, especially with some foreign carriers, that everything is automated and automation is the standard operating procedure.  Time to get back to "stick, rudder and airspeed" fundamentals.

When I was teaching my kids to drive, they all were required to learn on a manual transmission car.  They had to demonstrate - to the state driving inspector for their license - that they could operate a "stick shift" in traffic in hilly terrain. Cars with automatic transmissions would come later, but they never forgot how to drive an car or pickup truck with a manual transmission.
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Inner Art of Airmanship

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The NTSB recently released a Safety Briefing applicable to all pilots (http://buff.ly/1G4I1Lo). It details several recent mid-air collisions that maybe could have be avoided if the pilots has seen the other aircraft coming. All were in good day VFR conditions. There's no indication that these pilots were looking at iPads at the time, but I think we all know how captivating PEDs can be in a 'nothing happening' quiet cockpit. And a recent accident was blamed on the pilot taking selfies in flight (http://buff.ly/1FnlFTF).

See and be seen is an ancient seamanship skill. We must not lose it now.
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New brain science shows where expert intuition quickly silently processes information. It's where master pilots 'simply' look outside and see the wind, feel the wing, and just land.

http://bit.ly/1JQ52YH
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"I am looking to see whether anything is out of order. There will be no time to look for what is missing or out of place when a storm comes up at sea."

~ Phoenician seaman, circa 330 BC. The 'secrets' of airmanship haven't really been secret for at least the last 2,500 years! (The seaman is quoted in 'Delphi Complete Works of Xenophon'.)
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Have them in circles
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Inner Art of Airmanship

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Be a virtuous pilot. Knowing the when, why and how of flying is not enough. We must do.
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Once is not enough. Make mental paths deep by walking through the weeds many times.

This quote is often misattributed to Henry D. Thoreau. But it's actually by Wilfred Arlan Peterson in his 'The Art of Living, Day by Day: Three Hundred and Sixty-five Thoughts, Ideas, Ideals, Experiences, Adventures, Inspirations, to Enrich Your Life' (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1972) p. 77.
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Wiley Post, first pilot to fly solo around the world, test pilot for the pressure suit, discovered the jet stream, worked on early autopilots. And apparently deeply in touch with the inner art of airmanship. (Quote in his 1931 book 'Around the World in Eight Days' written with H. Gatty.) His friend J. H. Conger once said,

"He didn't just fly an airplane, he put it on."
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"It’s really your love of it that sets you apart.

"I didn’t have a life for 15 years, all I did was breathe and live and eat aerobatic flying and racing and aviation. It’s everything that you do. To be great in this, you have to be 100% committed. You need endurance. It’s a test. Every day is a test. … Some days you think you’ve failed, other days you think you’ve won. But every day is a new day. And the journey is what it’s all about.

~ Michael Goulian, airshow and Red Bull air race pilot. (Interview online at http://bit.ly/1Slj85C)
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The fun is to learn. To just keep that learning process going.

~ Helen Mirren, who turns 70 this month. She has won an Academy Award for Best Actress, four BAFTAs, three Golden Globes, four Emmy Awards, two Cannes Film Festival Best Actress Awards, and one Tony Award. In 2003, she received a Damehood in the Order of the British Empire. She clearly enjoys the perpetual pursuit.

(Interview for CBS television show 'Sunday Morning' 14 June 2015.)
The Oscar-winner for "The Queen" has now earned a Tony Award for another regal portrayal of Queen Elizabeth II, in Broadway's "The Audience"
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Enjoying the Perpetual Pursuit of Piloting Perfection
Introduction
We learn from every pilot we fly with, every pilot we talk to. Sometimes we learn a lot.