John & Anne Wiley

2011/05/11

Fear

I have a little time this morning as we wait for improving weather, we’ve had a minor reassessment this morning, and I got a slightly concerned inquiry. So I’m going to share a little about Fear in case anyone’s interested. If you’re prone to worry or want stuff about adventure and fun, please feel free to skip this post in case it might just distract you from enjoying the normal stream of this blog.

If you’re still reading, I appreciate any concern you may have about our safety because one of the greatest sources of delight for Anne and me is to be cared about. If after reading this you have questions, please email us and share (though it might be a while before we have time to respond).

The reassessment had to do with what we want from this most difficult part of our planned flying adventure: the Canadian Maritime Provinces. It’s difficult because we have to hassle with more expensive and less functional cellphone and internet connections, airports, fuel, and possibly food and accommodations (being colder than here, camping is a less attractive option too). It’s also potentially more dangerous, due to being less populated, some relatively long flights over very cold water, and less favorable weather.

So the fears we talked about this morning are about spending more money per day, possibly waiting for days on the ground hoping weather will clear when it might not, and what are the risks. I tend to look first at the worst case, and work my way back from there. Having read a lot about what we’re about to do, my opinion is that the worst would be a forced landing into trees so I’ve investigated how likely that is and considered means of mitigating the risk.

The chances of a sudden mechanical problem that would leave no option other than landing in trees is quite small. The number of aircraft like ours that have this happen is significantly less than the number of serious car accidents per mile of travel, so the risk is quite small. Among other things, we’ve had Tripp carefully checked before starting this adventure and she’s actually in considerably better shape than when we bought her (partly because we’ve fixed everything and partly because we’re flying so much, and that’s good for her engine). I’ve worked alongside several highly-skilled and experienced aircraft mechanics, and assured myself of her good health while also learning what to watch for so as to avoid problems in flight.

Another safety measure we use when flying in less populated areas with lots of trees or other unfavorable terrain for forced landing, is following major roads. Since we can glide 1.5 miles for every 1,000 feet above ground, following roads doesn’t add much to the time and distance of our flights but it does add options. Obviously we can land on the road itself since traffic is light, but there also tend to be more people around which means help fixing whatever the problem might be and more open fields, etc. to land in.

Flying over water, we climb high enough to glide over land in event of problems. Our longest water crossing on this flight is less than 1/2 hour, our engine is rated for at least 2,000 hours of highly reliable operation, and this adventure will probably tally up to 100 hours or less.

I recall a line in the book Dune something like, “Fear is the mind killer.” How I like to greet fear is by allowing the feeling, which tends to pass in a few seconds. Then, rather than dwell on it and feed it, as mentioned above I go to the worst case and engage my mind in exploring the actual risks.

I hope some of this might have been interesting, informative, or helpful in some way.

Advertisements

Reflections

Filed under: by Anne,Has Photos,MeriTimes Adventure,Nature,Random — Anne @ 04:19

We’re happily resting in the capital of New Hampshire, Concord.  Flew only 40 minutes today from Stow Mass.

Edit: John here, adding two pix from the flight. First an interesting waterworks on the outskirts of Manchester, just before we got here flying slow in the strong headwinds to save gas and go easy on the minor Tripp repair item (ADF insulator).

9930 Manchester NH Waterworks

9930 Manchester NH Waterworks

The other is a discovery as we taxied in after landing at Concord. It’s late, or I’d google Pan Am and see if the three planes like this were really an active remnant of Pan Am (each plane has a “Clipper” name) or just painted in that scheme by Boston-Maine Airways whose name is painted above the doors.

9941 Pan Am Clippers

9941 Pan Am Clippers

We took care of a minor but time consuming task on Tripp, then checked in early for us, getting a ‘crew car’ from the friendly folks at Concord Aviation.  This allowed us to see the city and pick up some breakfast goodies, which turned in to dinner as well, giving us time for a swim.  We watched a movie in the room, the first TV we’ve seen in a month, and John concurrently had a long reflective conversation with a friend. Very restful. While here in Concord, I’m looking through photos of Quincy Mass.

I read David McCullough’s biography of John Adams in 2001 and, like really good books do, the feeling and flavor of the era and the story, and my affection for these characters, is still strong.  A couple of days ago, John shared the rustic birth house of our 2nd president John Adams.  Next door to that was a newer rustic house where his son and 6th president, John Quincy Adams was born. The house of his and Abigail’s in later years is on the other side of Quincy, and they aptly named it Peace Field. The house is very large and stately, yet homey, and the gardens and landscape are green and lush. We imagined how all visitors in that day would have needed to spend the night, as transportation was lengthy and more arduous than the bus ride we took from the old houses to their new one.  The house reflected in the water lead me to dreamy reflections of the era and thoughts of all the luminaries who would have visited this esteemed couple.

0104 Adams Peace house

0104 Adams Peace house, Reflections of the past...

Below is also a Quincy treat, a Canadian goose with complete ease of people.  I wondered if the object of its search tasted anything like dandelion wine?

0098 Dandilion Goose

0098 Dandilion Goose

~by Anne

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: