“The secret of happiness is freedom. The secret of freedom is courage.”
— Thucydides

“A civilization that feels guilty for everything it is and does will lack the energy and conviction to defend itself.”
— Jean-François Revel

Nose Back to Grindstone on the Flying Thing

Monday, October 18, 2010

There is so much more that I want to do and write about, and even as parenthood places tighter constraints on my time and energy than I have ever before experienced, I’m feeling renewed optimism and determination to do whatever I have to do to make the things I want most come to pass.

In the wake of recent inspiration that’s included reading about last month’s Reno Air Races, discovering some great aviation podcasts, and hearing about Scaled Composites’ latest achievement, I’ve put my nose back to the grindstone and started reading the FAA’s Airplane Flying Handbook (via the Kindle app on my iPad). I started reading Eichenberger’s “Your Pilot’s License” a while ago, but found it frustratingly light on technical details. I know there’s a lot of highly technical stuff I’m going to need to learn and master, about piloting, radio protocol, aerodynamics, navigation, maintenance, etc. I engineer complex software for a living, and studied physics up through some early graduate-level quantum mechanics as an undergrad. I’m not afraid of hard-core math and science — in fact, I hunger for the stuff — by all means, please throw it at me! The FAA handbook might not be quite that, but it certainly seems like a step in the desired direction so far.

If anyone reading this is a pilot and there are other great introductory books you’d recommend, I’d love to hear about them! (Thank you!)