Monday, April 11, 2011

Huh? Whoa! Phew!

Dave English at 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.

Not knowing where to fly, I headed home. Maybe I'd see the cat in the driveway? I live on the downdraft side of a steep hill so circling the house takes a little thought. As I headed away from the hill I took a picture.

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.

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