This week I have been at the hospital with my ageing father
whom is having a rough time with his health. I was called very early now 5 days
ago and had to rush to his bed side. I am very pleased however to be able to
announce that today his condition is improving rather quickly. As I and some
other family members sat, waiting for results we could not help but noticed how
young most all of the medical staff appeared to be. I’m not sure if it was
because they were actually young or if it’s just the fact that I’m getting
older and everyone appears to be younger.
As I dwelt upon our thoughts I was reminded of a conversation I overheard between a couple of
pilots. The topic was on their fear of ageing pilots in the cockpit and their
possible lack of ability to perform as Pilot in Command of an aircraft. The
argument between the two young pilots was as we grow older our reflects could
tend to slow down which in turn could cause a slower response in a rapidly
changing environment. My thoughts were why does a doctor have to be old and a
pilot have to be young?
As far as the doctor goes I lean back to the thought that
it’s just due to the fact that I’m getting older. On the other topic however, I
have to be honest and say that at one point in time I would have
sided with the two young pilots. That’s not so much the case anymore. I have
watched and even had the opportunity to fly as first officer with some 20K +
hour pilots. I guess I can’t very well speak for all but as for the pilots I have flown
with all I can say is WOW. One opportunity I had was with a 20K + hour pilot
which is a former Delta airlines captain among various positions and is still
an active A&P inspector. We flew a piper Cherokee and he scared me to death
when he asked me how to start it. I later come to find out he was just pulling
my chain. When this veteran pilot buckled in, he strapped that airplane on and
it became an extension of his body. That airplane obeyed his every command.
Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not speaking for every older
pilot that may step into the right seat. Heck, I have seen some pilots who don’t
even need to be at the airport. The truth is I can show you both young and old
doctors and pilots that are masters of their fields. What is the key? Well I feel it’s where your
heart is. That’s just my thoughts.
What are your thoughts? Leave me a note
below. What do you think KEEPS a pilot flying in their golden years?