Thought for the Day: Essential vs Accessory

“A conspicuous consumer only has the admiration of the envious spectator. A craftsman, an innovator and a champion have the admiration of real aviators. I have not devoted my working life to experimental aviation to chase pointless trends and distractions. I am in aviation to find my place in the timeless truths that any real aviator since 1903 would immediately understand. Charles Lindbergh passed from this earth in 1974 having never seen a glass cockpit. His understanding of the awe inspiring beauty of flight was not diminished by the lack of a little screen to stare at. This is a good way to evaluate the essential from the accessory.” -ww.




The above comment is not judgmental about people with glass cockpits. It is just about how I think it is good to look out the windows, and find it satisfying to be able to fly some planes with no instrumentation at all, if required. If you want to have a glass cockpit in your plane, good. Everyone should build the plane they really want, not the one they are told to like, either by magazines or by opinionated jackasses from Florida.




“Science, freedom, beauty, adventure: what more could you ask of life? Aviation combined all the elements I loved. There was science in each curve of an airfoil, in each angle between strut and wire, in the gap of a spark plug or the color of the exhaust flame. There was freedom in the unlimited horizon, on the open fields where one landed. A pilot was surrounded by beauty of earth and sky. He brushed treetops with the birds, leapt valleys and rivers, explored the cloud canyons he had gazed at as a child. Adventure lay in each puff of wind.

I began to feel that I lived on a higher plane than the skeptics of the ground; one that was richer because of its very association with the element of danger they dreaded, because it was freer of the earth to which they were bound. In flying, I tasted a wine of the gods of which they could know nothing. Who valued life more highly, the aviators who spent it on the art they loved, or these misers who doled it out like pennies through their antlike days? I decided that if I could fly for ten years before I was killed in a crash, it would be a worthwhile trade for an ordinary life time.”— Charles A. Lindbergh


One Reply to “Thought for the Day: Essential vs Accessory”

  1. I find “pilot” to be a very broad term . I prefer to differentiate between “airplane drivers” and “aviators”, although the spectrum is wide and people sometimes shift category based on the *mission* at hand. Typically, Boeing, Airbus and Cirrus pilots are “airplane drivers”, strongly focused on moving the plane and contents from Point A to Point B. E-AB pilots are often “aviators”, more focused on creating and flying the plane than where its going (except on the long pilgrimage to Oshkosh!).
    But many airline pilots fly warbirds and RVs on their off days, magically switching from big bus driver to formation aviator. And some E-AB pilots build RV-10s and Lancair Evolutions, with dual EFIS, redundant AHRS, two-axis autpilots and video screens for the back seats, never exceeding 30° of bank! But we’re all pilots and all part of the bigger aviation world.

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