OsSkosh

Paranoia

By now, you surely must have heard the wry admonition that,

Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t they aren’t after you.

Researching, I found out that it’s a quote from Joseph Heller’s Catch-22 which I haven’t read, shame on me. It resounds because it rings of a certain ironic truth, does it not?

Every so often, I am rocked by the realization of just how dangerous general aviation can be and none more so than when I read NTSB reports of how some or other highly-experienced pilot augered in their perfectly good light aircraft. For God’s sake! I’m still a student pilot, what chance do I have?!

Enter paranoia. It seems to be the one thing that separates those who still live from those who still do not. The dead, it seems, may not have been suspicious enough, of their own skills, of their plane, of ATC, of the weather.

Ron Rapp writes about a terrible accident in Florida where the pilot’s inability to say “unable” and lack of what Rapp calls a skosh of paranoia cost him—and his passengers—their very lives. Costly.

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