Arnold Palmer…Flying High

One of golf’s living legends, Arnold Palmer, still flies himself around the U.S. to engage in his golf and business activities.  Palmer says in the Sports Illustrated piece that, "It’s a convenience, it’s a business tool for me and it’s also one that
I enjoy doing," Palmer said. "I’ve been doing it 18,000 hours. That’s
almost a lifetime in itself."

Every time I go to the airport for a 1 hour flight (I just requalified platinum on American again darn it), I think about becoming a pilot and flying myself.  There’s something magical about flight and taking this ultimate responsibility into your hands.  I must say I’m always edgy and nervous on flights and I think that taking my destiny into my own hands could really help that.  After all, who has time to be nervous in the cockpit when one is so busy making sure things are going right, on course, and out of harms way.  I read a blog called Flight Level 390 maintained by a commercial airline pilot.  I’m just drawn to the conversation, decision making, problem solving, and "cool factor" of flying big jets.  If I’m so interested in something…and that something could be a time saver and efficiency tool…then why not do it? 

I’ll contemplate this through the holidays as the weather turns cold and I envision getting stuck in a snow storm and using instruments to land while sweating through my clothes.         

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2 thoughts on “Arnold Palmer…Flying High”

  1. I regret to say that I’ve flown well over a million miles on both American and United and hundreds of thousands on several other airlines as well. Like you, for some reason, I’m still a nervous flyer though. Like Bill Cosby said: “I’m not afraid of flying, I’m afraid of dying.”
    I’ve also considered doing the piloting thing. For some reason, though, I think I’d be more nervous not less. I own a dozen vehicles with motors and I enjoy controlling each one. I just can’t get my head wrapped around flying for some reason, though.
    Great post. If you take the next step, please tell us about it.

  2. You are probably right Will. I’ve educated myself through the years to know what the sounds, grunts, motions, etc.. mean along the way…but sometimes things still get me going. I was lucky enough to sit next to a commercial pilot on a recent flight. I asked permission to “talk shop”. I got the inside scoop on all of the stuff I’ve always wanted to know like “Why do the ERJ’s (regional jets) always seem to turn really sharp upon entering the final “approach”. He told me “For some reason, they pick up the locator really late and that the plane is really turning itself via computer to align itself properly. Wow. I also asked “how much is automated and how much is manual these days?” He told me that pilots are allowed to keep auto-pilot on until 100 feet! I was totally blown away by that. The pilots simply dial in the heading and the plane turns itself. I guess I knew that…but the thought of the pilots simply hanging on until 100 feet blew me away.

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