October 2007 Issue

Choice of Action

To make the choices determining each flight’s outcome, we first need information on which to base decisions.

Almost by definition, pilots generally are self-reliant, often preferring to depend on their own talent and experience instead of someone else’s. At the end of the day, choosing to fly a personal airplane is, well, personal. Sharing with others our enjoyment of aviation often is a trait among pilots, of course, but the take charge, Type A personality seems more prevalent. In the early years of commercial aviation, the lone pilot shepherding his or her flock of passengers across the country took on mythical proportion. Later, professionalism crept in, replacing "seat of the pants" flying with hard data. Soon, multiple pilots were added to the flight deck, becoming a crew, despite what some of the more hardened pilots may have wanted.

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