Instinctively Deliberate Flying
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Home > Articles & Tips Index > Flying > Instinctively Deliberate Flying

[Courtesy of Keith McLellan 1st2fly "at", November 2000]

For those who make the effort to think it through and strive to perform better all the time in pursuit of ever increasing levels of proficiency and performance, the flying does become "instinctive" and "feels" very natural. What was once challenging and required a great deal of mental effort does become instinctive and (depending on what you're doing) relaxing, allowing you to focus your mind on other aspects of the flying at hand. 

For instance, the challenge of trying to land a model on top of a very steep slope in strong winds eventually becomes not the challenge but trying to land it consistently on a given spot without damaging it at all, or even being able to handcatch it, this now becomes the new challenge. This especially applies to aerobatics on the slope (or anywhere else for that matter). The same is true of some point you are no longer challenged so much by trying to stay up long enough to make your time, but are more concerned about how well you can fly your landing pattern to get your glider onto the landing tape at exactly the prescribed time, or you are more focused on whether or not you can get better than a "90" on that 100 pt. tape!

The point is: If you never "push the envelope", your skill level, and thus your ability to ENJOY the more advanced aspects of the hobby, will grow at a VERY slow pace, by comparison with anyone who "pushes it". If ever there has been anyone who stands out in my mind as being representative of what you can accomplish when you aggressively apply yourself, I would have to say that JOHN ROE takes the cake! If I remember correctly, it was pointed out to me that he started as a complete "newbie" just a mere 7 years ago! And now he is throwing himself into full scale soaring. I'm going to do the same and it looks like I'm going to have to run like hell to catch up with him!

I fly for a living, and I can tell you with absolute sincerity and authority that there is rarely anything "instinctive" about flying, whether full scale or models. With regard to the subject of flying, INSTINCT is merely knowledge and experience that is so deeply ingrained or absorbed by an individual that it is applied or utilized (often) without conscious thought. What is challenging today can easily be "second nature" tomorrow, if you push it a little every time you fly. As the NIKE ads say: "Just Do It!"

Keith McLellan 



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