Flight has always held a magical attraction to Mankind and some of us are born to follow this attraction!

“When once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward”

That is what Leonardo Da Vinci had to say about FLIGHT!
I wonder how many man-holes he fell down while his eyes were cast skyward in his quest after Flight? Get the drift already?


S.A. has a population of ± 46,000,000 million people. Only about 5% will ever fly on an aeroplane !!

Roughly only .028% of the population will actually manipulate the controls of some form of aircraft and enjoy the
privilege of flight in the sense that they are licensed to do so. Only .01% are privileged enough to earn their living at flying.

These figures are probably not accurate but are used to make a point of just how privileged we are.

You might say then that, due to our most fortunate situation, we are the:
Privileged few!
So what makes this fraternity tick?
WHY DO WE FLY? If I had to ask you “for what reason do you want to fly?” Now go and find the answers to that - quite difficult hey? You can rationalise and say because “that's what I have always wanted to do” - Of course it is what you've always wanted to do - no matter what the cost, it's what you want to do and that's it! Think now, there is an immensely strong driving force here! What could it be? WHAT KIND OF BREED ARE WE?

Let's see what some of our predecessors had to say about this thing called flight and pilotage.

So now we know that there is something within us that drives us - a FORCE. Yes this is true and there is only one word for it and that is…… PASSION !!!

Finding what it is that you like to do best in life and then going out and doing it.

For me it's the reward of a big set of Dunlops attached to a large tail dragger, kissing the ground softly. A bit of stick, a bit of rudder!! It's flying an ILS smoothly and accurately down to legal minima followed by a well controlled touchdown precisely on the centre line. The challenge of making each flight better and safer than the one before - striving to be professional. As an instructor the mutual joy of producing a safe pilot with “the right attitude”.


Positive passion is a good thing!
It is the force that drives us to achieve great things and to reach our full potential and our goals, just like our aviation ancestors.

But take heed, we need to take control of our PASSION!!!

Too much PASSION can get us into trouble!

For example in day to day life,
-Too much passion for money can lead us to dishonest means of gaining it!
-Too much passion can cause us to throw caution to the wind and commit unsafe deeds!
-Too much passion can get the young girl pregnant when it's least needed!-TToo much passion
-Too can cause us to become selfish and damage valuable relationships!
Etc. etc.

So we see that we have two forces opposing one another much like thrust opposes drag and drag opposes thrust.

DISCIPLINE and EMOTION. Disciplined thinking allows us to base decisions on facts and from an educated and well researched stand point while decisions based on an emotional and ego based stance - what we would like to do - what we think we should do - what our egos drive us to do, are poorly thought out and planned.

On and on it goes!
The fact is that once irrational decisions are taken into the air there is a strong possibility that further irrational decisions will be made as the flight progresses - often with very bad outcomes.

After forty years of involvement in aviation I've come to strongly realise that too little emphasis is placed on the way pilots make decisions and behave and that it is at the crux of air safety especially in societies where discipline is not the order of the day.

Airforces and Airlines all over the world screen candidates for pschycometric suitability before expensive training programs are entered into and then embark on never ending preening and training to ensure airsafety.

In General Aviation we are very much on our own and so it is the duty of every pilot, guardian and especially every instructor to enhance and build on good decission making skills and the application of sound resource management.
Exercising 'Good Judgement' based on solid information can sometimes be difficult for some people but we have to teach and train train ourselves and others to do this by putting aside emotional factors.

Until next time, be safe and for all of us, let us cast our minds to the way that we have been doing things - always room for improvement!

The contents of this article is not meant to be prescriptive but was created to offer guidelines only. Information may not be technically correct and should therefore not be used for actual flight situations.

Chris Kyle - Training Track
Aviation Safety

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