Okay, maybe it shouldn’t BE one, but is it just me, or do the stages of becoming a pilot track dangerously along with the seven deadly sins?
You have decided to start working to learn to fly, and you now CANNOT WAIT for each flight lesson to come along – you get excited every time you see or hear an airplane, and you can’t stop talking about flying with anyone who makes the mistake of asking you about it.
When you are not at the airport flying, you wish you were, and you are jealous of others who get to fly when you are doing other things, like eating, sleeping, or breathing – anything while you are not in an airplane. You also feel a little jealous of those folks who started before you and already have soloed, or have already gotten their pilot’s licenses. This also applies to the inevitable “need” for bigger better faster airplanes.
This is related to Stage 1 – LUST, and stage 4 – GREED, in that you are now reading, thinking, researching, talking, and living aviation pretty much every moment of every day. You simply CANNOT get enough flying in your life.
See Stage 3 – GLUTTONY. You have reserved every “learn to fly” book at your local library, bought every aviation magazine off the newsstand at the bookstore, and are hoarding them so that you can cross-reference, scan, take notes, and cut out pictures for your “dream board” of what airplanes you want to fly – AS SOON AS HUMANLY POSSIBLE.
This is a tough one, because you will be working harder than ever to gain the knowledge and learn the skills necessary to learn to fly. So while you will not actually be slothful, it may appear that you are slothful to your friends, family, and co-workers since the time you previously spent working around the house, going out, getting other things done, and showering is now committed to perfecting your knowledge of the regulations and armchair flying the maneuvers you need to perform to make your instructor happy and pass your checkride.
This one comes about when you are angry at yourself for forgetting something simple on your last flight. It may also come about when it is lightly suggested that you might spend less time flying and studying and more time taking care of your children and bathing. Remember that these suggestions are coming from people who care about you and want the best for you. Then remember that they (probably) will still love you and want the best for you AFTER your flight training is complete. Simmer down, now.
You’ve now passed your checkride, and you want to show your certificate to everyone you meet – your family, friends, co-workers, people you went to high-school with, and random people on the street. You feel a little taller, talk a little louder, are a little more confident, and have more hair. You are also now irresistible to the opposite sex, because you are a PILOT (reference step 1 – Lust)
Andrew Hartley is a certificated flight instructor in Columbus, Ohio. He has never had (nor does he currently have) any of the above issues. Honestly.