"Something hit me very hard
once, thinking about what one little man could do. Think of the Queen
Mary?the whole ship goes by and then comes the rudder. And there's a tiny
thing at the edge of the rudder called a trim tab. It's a miniature rudder.
Just moving the little trim tab builds a low pressure that pulls the rudder
around. Takes almost no effort at all. So I said that the little individual
can be a trim tab. Society thinks it's going right by you, that it's left
you altogether. But if you're doing dynamic things mentally, the fact is
that you can just put your foot out like that and the whole big ship of
state is going to go. So I said, call me Trim Tab."
Soon... Giving away
a copy of:
Microsoft's Flight Simulator X
The Right Stuff, DVD [PG]
Aviator, DVD [PG]
Victory By Air, DVD [TV PG]
The Peter Pan Club
is literally the COOLEST!
dream about it... You CAN DO it!
all you have to do is just believe in your abilities and have a balanced CAN
often nowadays that we hear all kinds of stories about how today's youth has
gone bad, however, we do not hear as often about the multitudes of young
people fulfilling their constructive dreams, including that of learning to
fly or actively pursue an education or career in one of the many
At The TPA, and with the
support of the caregivers in charge of these promising young enthusiasts, we
want to make sure that we keep the "dream of flight" alive in their
minds , and not ony that! We want to help them recognize those dreams in
One of our primary goals continues to be: proactively encouraging and supporting
education in all fields that cater to
AGA with emphasis -when possible- on
traditional schooling programs from the early years of schooling to high school
levels, in order to attract and facilitate the better preparation of the next
generation of Texan aviation/aerospace pioneers and enthusiasts.
10 year old, Jackson's, lesson flying a Cessna 172 Skyhawk -Houston, Texas
9-year old, Ethan's, very first flying lesson
with his instructor -aircraft: SR20
Dear young enthusiast...
Do you get a chill when you hear a
plane or spaceship throttling-up for take-off?
Do you get a high from the odor of
combusted aviation fuel, and the sight or sound of an aircraft or
Do you look up at the sky and
stare in amazement when you hear a plane fly above you, until it disappears from
Do you recognize the livery of
almost every airline, even when in flight?
Do you recognize the steps of the
landing procedure -when you are a passenger on a plane- from the flare to
touchdown, and do you T-minus countdown the seconds before the undercarriage
touches the ground, brakes are applied, thrust reverse and spoilers are engaged?
Do you recognize the make and
model of almost every aircraft in service, including war-birds?
Do you not discriminate against a
nationality or manufacturer of an aircraft as long as it is safe to fly?
Do you dream of designing or
building your own plane?
The above is a powerful questions and
very subjective. If I were to ask different pilots I would probably get
different answers. One can solicit views from different people, and the
answer would again be different. A passenger?s view of a good or great pilot
would be different from the ground staff?s view, another different view from
someone who works closely with pilots compared to someone who is not
directly involved with pilots. I guess that it is in everyone?s mind that a
good pilot is someone who is cool, calm, collected and confident under
pressure and they are absolutely right with the above views.
I too agree with the above view plus a
few more of my own perceptions that are based on my own experience after
being in the profession for over 30 years as a management pilot, instructor,
trainer and line pilot. The following are my views:
State of mind.
If one were to ask me the difference between a great pilot and an average
one, I would dare to say that it is in his ?state of mind.? The first thing
a great pilot must have is a good, positive mental attitude. He must be
disciplined, confident, relax and focus in what he is doing. There is no
substitute for a strong discipline. When he is flying, he is on his own and
if he is in command of the airplane, there is no one to tell him what to do
or what not to do. He therefore has to be disciplined and follow a set of
rules, which is the ?standard operating procedures.? Discipline will also
make him knowledgeable, meticulous in his work and has the attitude to
continuously learn from his experiences.
is in his beliefs. It is basically a guiding principle, what pilots think to
be true; his feeling about what is certainty in life. It is assumptions he
has about himself, other people, his work, and the world. His beliefs could
be limiting or they could be empowering to him. In flying we are faced with
challenges all the time, perhaps much more compared to someone working on
the ground. If we believe that we cannot do something, chances that we will
behave in such a way that will cause us to fail, by not trying hard enough
(give up), or by doing things to sabotage himself in some way. It is
therefore necessary to have beliefs that will empower him to carry out his
tasks well, and for him to be able to overcome all obstacles that he is
great pilot has to be skillful. This is his bread and butter. He should be
able to fly the aircraft well. By flying the aircraft well I mean with great
accuracy and precision. He should not settle for a mediocre performance. He
should strive for perfection and this takes a lot of hard work, practice and
The above to me are qualities of a great
pilot. The following diagram will illustrate these qualities.
From the above diagram which one is more
important of the three? Well to me all are important and necessary. However
before one could acquire the skills, one has to have the right mental state
and empowering beliefs. With these two qualities acquiring the necessary
skills becomes easier. By having the above qualities he will also become
more confident of himself. However he has to always remind himself and be
careful of the tendency of becoming over-confidence. I have seen people who
become so over confident of himself to the point of being obnoxious in his
behavior. To prevent this from happening, another quality that a great pilot
must have is ?humility.? This comes from knowing
oneself, your strengths and weaknesses and respect for others, be they your
working colleagues or any man on the street.
If you are a great pilot and you know
about it and you are humble about it, you can walk tall and gain respect
from your working colleagues and whoever that you are dealing with. You will
truly enjoy this profession and will be forever remembered.
About the author of the answer above:
has been a commercial pilot for over thirty five years, having accumulated
over 18,000 flying hours flying as a line pilot, management pilot as well as
instructor pilot. He currently flies B747-400s... this is a bit about his
story and how he became a pilot:
As a skinny little boy back in the 1950s, I developed
this love for planes but never thought that I could be a pilot. This love
soon became a passion and I told myself that this was the profession I
wanted to be in. Back then there was not much information for anyone who
aspired to be in this profession. There were no computers to search for
information regarding flying schools or the profession itself, and whatever
books available were mainly about planes.
However and lucky for me, fate had it that in 1971 I
was selected for flying training as a ?pilot? at the QANTAS flight training
school in Sydney after numerous application for the position of ?flight
navigator? and ?flight engineer.? I have been a pilot ever since and have
enjoyed tremendously my life as a line pilot, management pilot and as a
flight instructor on the various aircrafts that I flew.
When I came back from my flight training, I was
assigned to fly the Fokker F27 as a copilot. I was promoted to the Boeing
737-200 fleet after a few years on the F27. I was made a Captain on the F27
in 1978 after serving a total of five years as a copilot. From there I was
promoted to the B737 which I served for ten years. I was then promoted to
command the McDonnel DC10 where I served for three years. After that I was
promoted to the Boeing 747-200/300 where I served for another one and a half
years before promoted to the B747-400. I am currently a captain on the
In the course of my career as a pilot, I discovered a
lot of life lessons that we could learn from the strict cockpit discipline
and the rigorous training that a pilot has to go through throughout his
career. Some of these could be used in our daily life.
You should have a decent command of the
English language, since that is what flight controllers speak. Math and
science are also useful since you will need to recognize weather conditions
as well as understand how a plane works.
training is more than just jumping in an airplane and going out to fly. It
also requires a lot of book work. Many of the books you will need are
publications of the Federal Aviation Administration. The good news is that
the FAA has made most of those books available online - for free. Using the
digital version can save you money that can be better used for airplane
rental and instructor fees.
Training and Testing page
Go to the FAA's main Training and Testing page at
http://www.faa.gov/training_testing/. This is the starting point
for locating all the resources the government has made available. You should
try out the links on the main page occasionally because new material is
added from time to time.
Still on the Aircraft handbooks page look over in the left
column, under Handbooks and Manuals. There is another link to "Aviation."
This link will take you to the Aviation Handbooks page where you will find
the "Student Pilot Guide", a link to the Pilot Safety Brochures, another
link to the PHAK, some handbooks for more advanced training like the
"Instrument Flying Handbook" and more.