“Thought for the day” collection

Builders:

Collected below are several dozen links to “thought for the day” stories, along with an extract to trip the memory. You can click on any colored title to read the whole story. I suggest reading the comments also, as other builders have often shared insights on the topics.

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I have often pointed out that I try to share a lot more than motor assembly skills with builders. Most of the stories below do not center on Corvairs, but instead on the human condition in aviation. As much as I love machines, aviators are far more interesting, and many of the values and ethics of aviators are timeless and unchanged since 1903.  From craftsmanship to courage, the hardware changes but the human condition does not. To find your place in the arena of flight, It is best to understand this timeless truth going in. -ww.

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Apology in advance: Thoughts here are only meant to have people consider their own perspective. I have no desire for anyone to adopt mine nor agree with it. I like to think of it as thought provoking, not thought providing.

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Thought for the Day: Aviation as an Endeavor ““At any real level, flying is not a sport, a hobby a pastime nor entertainment. It is an Endeavor, worthy of every hour of your life you invest; Those that dabble in it find only high cost, poor reward and serious risk. They are approaching it as consumers. Conversely, for those who devote their best efforts and their serious commitment, the rewards are without compare.”

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Thought for the Day “The luckiest man on the face of the earth” “As a homebuilder, you can pick any era in aviation you love, build a plane from that period, and go visit it just as it was, any time you like. A plane is a time machine that can transport you to the mindset of any time. “

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Thought for the day #2 – To the new homebuilder “If you are new to the world of homebuilding, and maybe even flying, here’s something that you may not suspect: you’re actually in an excellent position to avoid the actions of fools.”

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Thought for the Day: Rickover – Hope is not a strategy “Rickover developed a rabid devotion to quality control and the understanding of human factors. These are common ground to building and flying planes. “

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Thought for the Day: Focused on Learning ” This is the real valuable thing you can get out of all the hours in the shop, the one thing that you will not loose even if a tornado wrecks your plane or it burns to the ground. Homebuilding is about how it changes your mindset.”

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Thought for the Day: Comfort vs Sensation ” Flying in light planes is a cornucopia of sensory input that you don’t get in modern cars; sounds, bumps, smells wind, tactile feel on the controls. For those who like the sensations of reality, it is rich pay dirt.”

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Thought for the Day: “Foolproof -1950″ ” you may have a moment of awareness, and see with clarity where much of society is headed. I am going out to work in the hangar, because it is my form of driving in the other direction.”

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Thought for the Day: Time…..Your enemy. ” There is a combination of simplicity/effort/money that can get a great number of people flying. You can be one of them, and the odds that you will be go up dramatically if you use my experience to avoid every mistake I made and paid for.”

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Thought for the Day: J.S. Mill – On Liberty. “If you follow Mill’s argument in depth, he explains why the nanny state ends up degrading the value of all lives, not just the ones belonging to self destructive people, morons and people yet unacquainted with the finality of death.”

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Thought For The Day: Mechanical Instruments “In another 15 years, many  of the glass cockpits of today, almost all the MGL stuff from South Africa, all the I-Pads built by virtual slave labor in China, all the garbage like Blue Mountain and Archangel will all be lining the bottoms of landfills accompanying used diapers and copies of People magazine featuring the Kardashians. “

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Thought for the day: Having two Achilles heels. ” Let Me teach you something about some of the people who choose car engines: Some of them have two Achilles heels. The are cheap, and they don’t like following the guidance of experienced people. It doesn’t matter what powerplant a builder chooses if he has those two issues in his personality.”

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Thought for the day: The ‘Triple crown’ of Homebuilding. I would much rather have built a simple plane than purchase a complex one; I want to be the master of it’s power plant, not merely it’s owner or attendant; I don’t want to be a mediocre instrument or multi pilot, I just was to be a good day-vfr stick and rudder pilot.”

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Thought for the Day: Mastery or? ” Those who settle for the instruction and company of flyers who’s standard is the minimum to get by, will be no better themselves, and one day they may very well encounter a set of conditions that are 1% above their minimum skills.”

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Thought for the Day: Your Personal Masterpiece ” Your engine is your personal masterpiece. You should be tempted to pull the cowl off and just marvel at it for no reason.  You should drag passers-by at the airport into your hangar and proudly say “LOOK! I built That!” With an arm gesture that magicians use as they say “TAA-DAA!”

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Thought for the day: “Censorship” on the net “On any discussion group where people who are known only was “Flyboy26″ or “RVguyCN” have the exact same size soap box as people with real names, specific experience, links to photos, there is no chance for new people to sort useful reality from dangerous fiction.”

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Thought for the day: Being simple and done. ” The most simple flying plane, even if it is not aesthetically pure, or record light, provides more satisfaction than any masterpiece that is over budget and years behind schedule, sitting in a garage, that will fly ‘someday’.”

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Thought for the Day: Obsession with electronics “As a general rule, people in aviation have an interest that exceeds their job description. While there are obviously plenty of avionics guys who know how to fly, build, navigate, or what ever, most people who work in aviation would gladly tell you that avionics people tend to think of the rest of the aircraft as a support system for the panel.”

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Thought for the Day: The color of your Day. “I have the personal perspective that the chain of days in the calendar of life are all delivered in a black and white format. The 1,440 minutes that make up each of them pass in a gray flow unless a genuine effort is made to paint them with color, the color of real life.”

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Thought for the Day: Two paths in managing risk “Simply put, I have had a front row seat to countless examples of dangerous thinking and seen the results. I have enough stories, but right now, someone is working on adding to the list. Just make sure it isn’t you.”

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Thought for the day: The Cost of Economy ” Learn this WW aircraft philosophy axiom, and your airplane building will be a lot happier:“Doing things the right way usually costs a fair amount of money, but doing them the cheap way always costs a fortune.”

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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.”

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Thought for the day: Decisions of Consequence ” Antibiotics, airbags and personal bankruptcy law are all things that take the real consequences away from bad decisions people make today. Flight is just the reverse, Physics, chemistry and gravity always insuring serious consequences for bad choices.”

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Thought for the Day: Planes as ‘transportation,’ The timer on the dash may record the exact number of minutes aloft, but it seems untrustworthy. The correct answer seems to be that I have been gone months not minutes, that I have been to a place thousands of miles away not thousands of feet away.  It is just not possible to explain to people that a plane is the only vehicle that can transport you like that.”

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Thought for the Day, D-Day at 70 years “It was not the largest nor most lethal battle in WWII, but it is a critical day in the war and thus of the 20th century and by extension the world we live in today. This was purchased for us by individuals who we will never meet, paying a terrible price.”

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Thought for the day: The need to Know. “The camera doesn’t do the event justice. It illuminated the entire southern end of the airport; you could have read a newspaper 500’ away. At most airports this would have brought firefighters, hazmat people and the news media. At our airport it brought more people with beer.”

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Thought for the day: Demand for the Truth. “As Scarce as the truth is, supply has always been in excess of demand.” -Josh Billings.

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Thought for the day: Basic human skills “Heinlein’s personal code was about the individual having actual skill, experiences and wisdom. Not to impress others, but for the simple human satisfaction of being a developed human with a richer life. “

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Thought for the day: Virtue vs Depravity “Show me once that someone is a dangerous idiot, and I will never put myself in the position of needing to trust nor count on that person again. Aviation does not always give second chances. If you are new to flying, be advised that it is admirable to grant the benefit of the doubt to others, only outside the airport fence.

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Thought for the Day: What are you thankful for? “The secret I would like to share with anyone who at times feels the same way, is that I have a sanctuary where I am insulated from much of my self-criticism, and a have a front, where at 50, I am much better on than I thought possible in my youth.”

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Thought for the day: Challenge of an open mind ” My personal definition of being an aviator is to travel, not in the geographic sense, but from who you were before to who you are today, to who you will be tomorrow. Clifford’s quote describes the sin of these three places having no space between them.”

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Thought for the day: Calculated Risk “Today our society is obsessed with celebrity culture, people famous for going to rehab, actors with little talent, talk show people with nothing to say, and all day to say it. It is a distorted reality, and I choose to ignore it and focus on a time when we thought more clearly and knew what made individuals worth admiring.”

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Thought for the day: Leaving the hive behind “In my book, humans are individuals, not insects. Any person who chooses do something simply because he wants to is affirming this. Any person who picks up a tool and sets out on a journey to create something of his choosing, a goal that does not serve the hive of society, can expect both the disdain of  the hive and the warm welcome of other individuals.”

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Thought for the day: Finishing planes “Completing the plane isn’t success, learning is. A guy who listens to no one learns nothing and often creates the poor flying hangar queen. His completed plane might be a rarity, but the mindset of not being willing to consider anything that might evolve one’s views is quite common today.”

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Thought for the day: Your brothers keeper? “He has a very kind way about him. I am embarrassed to say this, but first I thought he was mentally handicapped, but after a minute I realized that he is just polite and a good listener, and has been freed of the illusion of self-importance that infects almost everyone you met this week.”

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Thought for the day: “100% Safe planes.” You will never be able to get into any type of aircraft and be 100% certain that you will be unhurt at the end of the flight. So why fly? Because there are things in life worth doing even if they carry a known risk of death. “

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Thought for the day: Choosing to be alive ““If the goal of the captain was to preserve the ship, he would never leave port. Most people never do. The goal of the captain is to seek adventure, to meet all the challenges and still achieve the goals, to be In The Arena, not rusting at the pier in the safe harbor.”

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Thought for the day: Who do you trust? ”  You write stuff like “Unicorns vs Ponies” and point out the new head of the EAA has a fake engineering degree, they don’t invite you to the cocktail parties anymore. That’s ok, I got into homebuilding to learn, build and fly, not be part of a marketing industry. Being welcomed into the workshop of a homebuilder is a real experience and a greater honor than being mistaken for an “Industry insider.”

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Thought for the day: Who will build our planes? “In 1946, Cessna was something of a partner to American labor in producing that generation of affordable American aircraft. Today,  they have proven to be a worthless element. Each of us, developing our own craftsmanship, will work in our own one plane factory and produce our own aircraft. This is how American labor will build this generation of affordable aircraft. “

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Thought for the Day: Importance of Affordable Aircraft “Aviation magazines are always highlighting the best, fastest, most elaborate planes with a moronic argument that these will stimulate aviation by getting people interested. Perhaps after decades of  this fiction, we can dismiss it. You don’t build a pyramid by making the top block and expecting the base to appear under it.

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Thought for the day: Building as an individual. “Bach’s point is that if every act is judged on the sole merit of its value to society, we will end up with the conformity of a flock of seagulls, complete with their compulsive need to peck non-conforming individuals to death, just to protect the uniformity. “

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Thought for the day: Getting Started. ” Real value isn’t based just on what it cost, it is far more affected by the other side of the equation…what did you get out of it? On this point, the majority of builders cheat themselves.”

 

 

About William Wynne
I have been continuously building, testing and flying Corvair engines since 1989. Information, parts and components that we developed and tested are now flying on several hundred Corvair powered aircraft. I earned a Bachelor of Science in Professional Aeronautics and an A&P license from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, and have a proven 20 year track record of effectively teaching homebuilders how to create and fly their own Corvair powered planes. Much of this is chronicled at www.FlyCorvair.com and in more than 50 magazine articles.

2 Responses to “Thought for the day” collection

  1. Art Blake says:

    William, Regarding your essay on Aircraft Building as a learning experience: I am building a wooden plane. I am now working on my 5th fuselage ‘former’. The fit and finish of this part is incomparably better than the first ones I made. In fact, I had to throw away the first couple of tries. Now I stand back and look at the tight intersections of all these complex cuts, and I marvel that I could ever be able to build a thing of such precision and beauty. Thank you for your virtual encouragement , advice, and wisdom.

  2. Frank Hamelly says:

    William, I enjoy reading all your posts. You may be considered by some as a non-conformist, but you seek and speak the truth, 2 qualities that this country dearly needs. Keep up the great work.

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