I know Now
what I Didn't Know Then
Weve all said
it before. If I only knew then what
I know now. Some people would never
have bought a Cessna, or a Piper, or a
Taylorcraft, or started building an
experimental airplane. Some would never
have owned a Fiat, or a Yugo. Others
would have never married. Or had
But life is all
about learning, making mistakes, getting
wiser, living. Anyone who has never made
a mistake, never made anything. The best
teacher after all is said and done, is
experience. Now I know why my boss was
always preaching to check the fuel caps.
Thats another story. Ive
learned a thing or two about aviation,
and for the most part its been from
experience. Fortunately, Im still
here to talk about it.
Every day I hear
student pilots on the radio broadcasting
their positions and intentions, and I
think to myself how boring it must be to
be flying around going nowhere. But in
fact, this is the time in those
students lives where they will
learn the basics of flying, where they
wont be allowed to bury their
mistakes and hide them from instructors.
Later in their careers, the
material theyre learning today will
begin to fit together and make sense as
its applied to the real world of
aviation. They will learn the shortcuts,
the items that are important and how to
avoid mistakes. Who ever it was
that said a pilots license is a
license to learn was right.
Theres more to
being a pilot than flying an airplane,
just as theres more to parenting
than having children. Think back to your
own early flying days.
Wouldnt it be nice to have
known then the things you know now?
Hindsight. Experience. Wisdom. Call it
whatever you like, but we all eventually
gain from it. Ive made bad
decisions, said things I wish I
hadnt, Ive seen airplanes
damaged, seen people die, sometimes
friends. Ive guessed at the
remaining fuel on board, about the
weather and the length of a runway. And
Ive even left a fuel cap off.
I would venture to
say that everyone has a part of their
past theyre not proud of. The
important thing is to believe in yourself
and make the most of those mistakes.
Analyze and process them. Learn
from them. Many times Ive
thought that wisdom comes with age. It
stands to reason that the older we get,
the more time weve had to make more
mistakes. Naturally we get a whole lot
built an airplane. Never owned a Fiat.
Never flown a jet. Some things were
obviously not a good idea. For me.
Somehow I just knew that. For some people
it requires a first hand experience.
There comes a time
in life when youre comfortable with
what you know, what youve done, and
most important, with who you are. All
that could come much sooner but its
only now that I know what I didnt