A Beechcraft Baron pilot was flying home after a week of watching airshows at a popular fly-in. After watching so many loops and barrel rolls he was certain he could easily do the same. He executed the maneuver correctly, accelerating and then entering a climb before rolling. But as he was upside down, pulling his way through the roll, his aircraft began developing too much airspeed and his attempts to get through the roll caused a complete structural failure leading to a wing separating from the aircraft, killing him and his passengers.
Macho means that you believe you can do anything. This hazardous attitude is marked by the need to prove that you are the best. It can lead to deadly and highly avoidable choices.
Signs of a Macho attitude
It’s not too hard to spot a macho attitude, especially in others! If you find yourself thinking some of the thoughts below (in bold) then you are experiencing a macho attitude to some degree.
- “Come on! I can do this.” Wrong! You do not know all of the factors involved. You should get formal training from someone who knows.
- “I am a better pilot than others. I’ll show them!” Wrong! Flying is not a competition and safety is the skill that really makes a good pilot.
- “I will prove that I am the best.” No, you are not the best. In fact, your macho attitude makes you one of the worst kind of pilots. Shake off this attitude or never fly again!
Don’t be foolish
If you are the type of person that needs to compete and prove yourself be very careful about aviation. You really need to control your attitude and avoid getting into any kind of competition and never try to show off your aviation skills. Trying to show that you are the best pilot is a recipe for embarrassment or death.
The FAA response to the macho attitude is “Taking chances is foolish”. Do you persist and think that the chances are improved because you are so great of a pilot? I’m going to stop you right there. You are wrong about your skills and your macho attitude is a serious hazard to yourself, others, and the safety record of aviation. Please stay away from planes if you can’t get over yourself. I have seen too many pilots put their passengers lives in serious risk because of their macho attitude (which probably stems from insecurity)! GET HELP!
Want to be a better pilot?
I have been a CFI for 10 years and I am taking my passion for teaching to the web. I promise that my posts will provide you with new insights and helpful refreshers no matter what your skill level is. Subscribe to get my latest content by email.