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Going Direct: What Pilots Get About Risk That The Rest Of The World Doesn’t

We learn a lot more than just X’s and O’s in flight school, even if we don’t realize it.

Small airplane at sunset
Photo by AGCuesta/Shutterstock
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I still have a Rolodex which, for those of you who might not know, is a rotating contact card organizer. I still have it around somewhere, not because I use it—I don’t. I have it because it contains the cards of friends who are no longer here, mostly friends who died in aircraft accidents. Even when I used it, which was a long time ago, there was no way I could ever take their cards out, and every time I spun the fluttering wheel to find a number, I’d go past the M’s or the T’s and think about them, even if just for a moment.

It’s also a great reminder that even highly skilled pilots, and they all were, can have bad luck or a bad day. So we mere mortals had better pay attention.

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