June 1999 Issue

Grounded in Reality

Some pilots just donít get it, yet the system encourages them to try again, sometimes until they crash

It would take a clinical psychologist to explain, but there are some people who are not meant to fly airplanes.

It certainly doesnít take a superman or superwoman to become a competent pilot, of course. Like riding a bicycle, most people can learn to do it competently, with a few becoming exceptionally skillful. The flip side of that is that there are also those who canít get the hang of it.

So it is with flying: There are some people who, for whatever the reason, simply can not put it all together and fly competently. The difference is that in aviation, this apparent learning disability costs lives and money, rather than scrapes and bruises.

My first exposure to this phenomenon w...

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