RUNNING OUT OF RUNWAY

7/22/2018

Engraved in the memory system of the brain, aircraft pilots know the greatest danger of flying is in the transition zones. Going from takeoff speeds to flight and vice versa on landings. Much concentration is needed to skillfully perform these functions, or face the consequences of a crash, if errors occur. Crashing is an undesirable end result of poor decision making that can result in injury, large monetary losses, and, in the worst cases, death, which is the ultimate downer. Knowledge of aerodynamics and a complete respect for gravity is an underlying trait in competent pilots. Upon takeoff, the correct speed, power setting, and angle of attack is needed for success. Too little, and the runway soon disappears, being replaced with ominous trees and fence lines. Too much, and the plane stalls, falling like a rock with wingloads of flammable liquids. Not good. On the landing operation, the air speed and runway touchdown point must be coordinated, or you will slam onto the runway with too little power or overshoot the runway with too much energy. In the take-off or landing modes, the dangers common to both are RUNNING OUT OF RUNWAY. This applies to life when human’s age. When most of life’s goals have been attained: career, marriage, and children, then care must be taken when choosing new aspirations. On taking off in a new career, one must visualize where one is in life and how much runway exists out in front of their lifetime or a severe crash will ensue. Seventy is not a good time to become a structural ironworker or a prize fighter. Same thing exists on landing. If your goal is to walk around the world and starting this in your early 60’s, 75 years old is no time to cross the Himalayas to finish. It is not impossible, but your success rate will be smashingly low. File your flight plan (retirement) in advance. Anticipate that the weather (your attitude) will deteriorate and know that your aircraft (your health) will fail you soon. 

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