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Thursday, April 12, 2012

What Creates Lift?

Whether you are certificated pilot, student pilot or an aviation enthusiast you have all thought of the question regarding what creates lift. Lift is what allows an airplane to fly. Without lift even the lightest of airplanes would be grounded. Therefore, all aviators must know what factors go into the causation of lift.
I would like to take a spin the the topic of lift today. Not everyone who reads my words are aviators. But we all need lift in our lives. Without lift in our lives we metaphorically remain on the ground.
Everyone I know has the desire to better themselves. Even someone with the deepest depression or a person who seems to have little to no motivation wants to get ahead in life. Lift in life is not being rich or famous. Even some of the most rich and famous people have not found their lift in life.
Lift in life is what makes us happy. Lift in life is what brings us feelings of contentment and peace. Lift in life are the things that bring simplistic joy. I think we all need to reevaluate our lives and decide what is our lift in life.
All to often we see people whose lives are in shambles because they have the wrong idea of what lift is. If you cannot understand the simple aerodynamics of life you cannot expect to fly. If you try to climb without knowing the proper procedure or speeds to use you then run the risk of stalling. Recovering from a stall in an airplane can be much easier than recovering from a stall in life. By the time a student pilot is taught stall recovery in an airplane he or she has already learned the fundamentals that go into what causes an airplane to stall and how to recover from that stall.
Very few people have been taught the proper procedures for recovering from a life stall. It would be so much easier to find lift in life if we could just sit down with an instructor and learn the proper procedures. However, most of us learn from the school of trial and error. Sometimes using this method we are able to fly strait and level without incident, but all to often many people crash and burn.
The objective of finding the lift of life though should not be to simply fly strait and level. If we find the proper lift we can soar to great heights. So then what is it that causes such a great lifting power in life that we can rise so far above the drudgery of daily life?
Using the proper procedure is the key to any good flight. Let's start with the pre-taxi checklist.
1. Get out of bed with the proper attitude.
2. Look forward to the flight (day)
3. Check to see that you have an appropriate amount of fuel for the flight.
Number three could actually go into a variety of things. Did you eat a proper breakfast? Did you exercise? If you are religious, did you say your prayers? I think you get the idea.
4. Do you have your clearance from air traffic control? In other words, do you have a flight plan for the day that you have thought out and cleared with yourself of whoever else may be involved that plan?
Now lets skip right to the takeoff checklist.
1. Power full forward. Do you have enough power or energy for the flight today? In other words, leave the doubts behind. If it is a difficult task in front of you go at it with full power and do not hold back.
2. Airspeed alive. Notice when you are rolling down that runway of life in a positive manner and give yourself credit for the positive things you have accomplished.
3. 70 knots cross check. Double check the things you are doing and that you are on path for success.
4. V1 (speed at which if you are committed to taking off even if something goes wrong). Now you are committed to flight. No matter if anything goes wrong you are still going to takeoff. If any problems arise you will simply handle them in the air.
5. Rotate. Now we add the back pressure and we are flying.
Lift in life can be simple. We just need to know what to put on our checklist for life. I think there needs to be some very simple items to do on this metaphorical checklist. Below I have listed some things that should be on everyone's checklist.
1. Tell those close to you that you love them.
2. Smile as you pass strangers throughout the day.
3. Go out of your way to be nice to those you know and to some you do not know.
4. Treat others with respect and kindness.
5. Be kind to yourself.
7. Forgive those who have wronged you. Holding a grudge only hurts the one who holds the animosity towards the other. In most cases the other person has forgotten all about what he or she has done to wrong you to begin with.
Those are some simple, well mostly simple, things that we can do to help generate lift in life and be on our way to soaring to new heights. I hope you had enjoyed the post for today.
Until next time,
Keep an eye on the sky!
Collin Hughes
The Prozac Pilot

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Getting Back In The Air

I love the old country song entitled "Back In The Saddle Again." That is what came to mind as I was pushing the throttle forward for my takeoff roll in a Cessna 172 the other day. Even though I have had my medical back for a few months now I have not been flying for other reasons since I did my flight review last August. Therefore, I opted to go with one of the instructors I work with just to get a feel for things again. Even though I was tempted to sing the lyrics to that old country song as we taxied out for takeoff I held my tongue. I did not want my coworker to think I was crazy and report me to the FAA.

I must admit I sure felt the rust. My first landing was not bad at all though. We had some cross winds. I nailed the landing, but eased up on the back pressure shortly after touchdown and did not keep the proper crosswind correction in, thus causing us to get a little out of line. However, Erik, my fellow instructor, reminded me calmly of the proper technique and the following landings were greatly improved. Being rather proud of myself after a few good landings I declared I wanted one last landing before i was to fly some discovery flights with potential new students for our school. On my final approach the winds were gusting. Therefore, I carried a little extra speed. In doing so, I had in a little extra power. Anyone see where this is going? As I crossed the runway threshold I did not reduce the power as I should have. When I attempted to flare there was too much forward energy moving us down the runway. In my attempt to land the airplane I demonstrated to Erik how to get three or four or perhaps even five landings out of one. Yes that is right, I bounced the daylights out of the last landing.

Now instead of thinking of the old country song I was thinking of the saying about pride cometh before the fall, or in my case before the bounce. I was a little frustrated with my landing to say the least. Erik and I laughed about it a little bit. Then Erik went into instructor mode and shared with me the reason for my bad landing. I took his instruction to heart and greased the three landings with the discovery flights that I had.

In the instruction I received after my bounced landing I was able to remember some simple, but important factors about flying. But I also reflected upon an important life lesson as well. I think that if we stop and think about things that happen to us in our daily lives we can learn much about ourselves. For example, I was not as focused on the small details of my last landing as I could have been. Due to this I missed some simple but important tasks that go into a good landing. My other landings were good; therefore, I assumed the last landing would just turn out that way as well.

Good landings, just like positive outcomes in anything we do in life, require actions and reactions. The way things turn out in our lives are all dependent upon our own choices and actions that we make every moment of our lives. If we choose to make a bad choice (just as I chose to leave extra in power) our lives (or our landings) will be rough.

The way to live a healthy life all boils down to making positive choices. For example, a young person who decides to hang out with the kids that are making wrong choices is going to be influenced by his or her friends and most likely start making the same bad decisions that the friends are making. Then after making all of these bad choices the child will have no idea why his or her parents are being so harsh and the young life will start to tumble out of control towards an unhappy existence.

I am not saying that by making positive choices each and every time we make a decision that life will be without bounced landings. There will always be a bounce here and there that are simply out of our control. However, by paying attention to detail and putting in the proper and positive corrections on the flight controls of life the flight path will most certainly have less turbulence and more frequent smoother landings.

Well, that is enough preaching for the day.

Keep an eye on the sky!
Collin Hughes
The Prozac Pilot

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Testing the new ap.

I just downloaded the new blogger ap from iTunes. Of course I wanted to test it out to see how much I like it. So far so good. I know that everyone is excited about reading me ramble on about my new application on my iPad. Oh, I have not mentioned the iPad before this? Thanks to my wonderful wife I now have an iPad. It was a Christmas present.

Speaking of my wife I feel I need to mention something. The loved ones in our lives are important. Those close to us are the ones that we turn to for support when this look dim. We need to recognize and appreciate all that our loved ones do for us. We should constantly tell them how much we care for them. We should not just tell them, but we need to show it by how we treat them.

Keep an eye on the sky!
Collin Hughes
The Prozac Pilot

Today is the day.

Today is the day that I work on being happy from this day forward. Tomorrow will be the day that I work on being happy from that day forward. Each day we get up in the morning is a great day. I think all too often we focus on what is going wrong in life instead of looking for positive solutions to our problems. Often times we even create problems in our minds worrying about what might go wrong when all we need to do is go forward and make the best of whatever comes along.

Being positive takes work for some people. Those who have negative outlooks on life may often feel that those with a positive outlook do not have problems. However, everyone has problems and stumbling blocks in life. It is how we handle those times that defines who we are.

I love the following quote.

“I've missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I've lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I've been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I've failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”

Michael Jordan

According to MJ it is not the wins that helped him be successful, but the losses. How many times do we look at negative results and beat ourselves up? Did MJ feel badly when these things occurred? I am sure that he did. However, he used those feelings of disappointment to improve his game.

We too can take a closer look at our shortcomings and turn those things into strengths. Do not let your failures hold you back. Do not let the struggles in life become an anchor that drowns you. Life is meant to be lived with joy and happiness. However, we must put our best selves forward in order for that greatness to come into our lives. Do not hide yourself under the proverbial basket. Step forward into life. Let today be the day that you achieve greatness.

Keep and eye on the sky!

Collin Hughes
The Prozac Pilot

Monday, April 2, 2012

Statement From Captain Clayton Osbon's Wife.

I have put a link to a site that contains a statement from the family of Captain Clayton Osbon, the pilot on the JetBlue flight that has created such a stir in the media. But first, I have a couple things I would like to say on the matter.

There have been many sources indicating that Captain Osbon was on medications at the time of his episode. Let me go on record as saying THERE IS NO EVIDENCE HE WAS ON MEDICATIONS OF ANY KIND. There are several medical conditions that could have caused this situation. No one with a record like Captain Osbon goes to work and has something like this happen without provocation.

There have been way too many assumptions as to what happened that caused Captain Osbon to act the way he did. I just hope that he is allowed to get the medical treatment he needs.

My thoughts and prayers go out to Captain Osbon and his family. I am sure that the stress placed upon his family at this time is horrible. I would hope that people will be kind enough to leave his family alone. Let's wait for the facts to come out as to what really happened. Jumping to conclusions simply causes more damage.

Here is the link to the statement from Captain Osbon's family.

If this link does not work you can find this by going to JetBlue's website and doing to the media section.

Keep an eye on the sky.

Collin Hughes

The Prozac Pilot