Huh? Whoa! Phew!
Dave English at hikoudo.com points out this article by Thomas Anthony on the Flight Safety Foundation website. These three words, spoken almost involuntarily, tell you that a threat is present so you'd better sit up and fly right. The article is well worth reading.
I said both "Whoa!" and "Phew!" yesterday. A friend keeps telling me that I can fly his Ercoupe if I buy the gas. I finally did so yesterday. A solo flight from an uncontrolled field is some of the best "alone time" a person can have.
Whoa! When I looked up there was a gull at 11:30 and 30 feet, with several others nearby. The 'Coupe has big ailerons and short wings so my quick right bank averted the collision. If I was one of those biologists who recognizes individual birds by their markings I would have known this one's name.
Or should I say Dummy! All week I had been watching the gull superhighway that goes from the dump south of town to the lake north of town. I had guessed that they were at about 6,000 MSL.
And where was I? 6,000 MSL!
Right intention. Right effort. Right mindfulness. Right concentration. I missed four branches of Buddhism's Eightfold Path.
At least I had right action.