THE RESIDUE OF DESIGN

Being a pilot is not so much about operating machinery as making sound decisions.  Success is determined not by what you have to start with, but by what you make of it.  Imagine you’re in town shopping – with limited funds.  A wide variety of merchandise is available, much of which you don’t want or can’t use.  Many items you could purchase would amount to a foolish waste of money.  No sensible adult goes to town and plunks down all available cash on the very first item they see.  The task is to choose what best suits current priorities – and what you can actually afford.  (Also, it’s nice to have a little coin left over afterward…)

Now imagine you’re circling in a thermal.  It’s an ideal opportunity to scan 360 degrees of landscape and sky searching for other possibilities.  Thoughtful pilots resist that universal temptation to go for the first thing they see or think of, considering not only what would be the best outcome of every potential strategy, but also the worst.  Even if the thermal you’re in is about to fizzle, it might be better to dally one more circle and take one more look around than to glide off in some random direction thoughtlessly hoping for luck…                For in the words of Branch Rickey, owner of the Brooklyn Dodgers who brought us Jackie Robinson, “LUCK IS THE RESIDUE OF DESIGN.”