The Inner Game of Flying – Part 1

imbis, BALI, TemplePilots
Flying is fascinating
The magic of flying never fades
25 years of flying and it still makes me feel like a beginner


Adventure flying is different in many ways. The energy levels are higher and the threats more
immediate. There are very few pause buttons and second chances and the ground is brutally unforgiving. You can get by with mediocrity in most sports but not flying. Flying is what the Safety Analysts call “tightly coupled” meaning that our actions can quickly propagate results that then define our reducing options. Flying is a different game, a different kind of test.

How to become the pilot you have always wanted to be? This is same as asking how to create the life you most want to be living. Only then can flying become an art, an expression of your own self in harmony with the nature of your wing and the nature of the sky.

No one is born a good pilot. We are made and we can make ourselves better through a perpetual pursuit of piloting perfection. Learn, practice and prepare !!

Flying has taught me to learn. I have learnt to learn. I am not shy to learn from every pilot I meet or fly with. The beauty of our sport and flying is that there is no end to learning and perfecting. It is just like life. We need to learn to blend with energy and flow of the universe to make the perfect flight and give up competing in false contests of ego.

” The way of the sage is to act but not to compete ” – Lao Tzu

Participating in Paragliding competitions and flying with your club mates can be a huge learning experience. Yet, pilots create tremendous internal competitive pressure. We try to turn flying into a huge competition. Many of us end up competing with the elements or a friend flying the same day. None of these are a a real test. The real test will come alone and most certainly unexpected.

A lot of paragliding accidents, some serious ones too, have happened on perfectly good flying days. Experienced pilots with good repute have hit the ground real hard. You miss something, an error in judgement, wrong reaction to a situation, a poor decision and suddenly you crash into the ground. You never know on what flight you will be really judged.

You may be the best but it takes more to be a complete pilot. You have to resist the pilot ego. Make your way to be the quiet controlled pilot who is not intent on showing off by exceeding safe limits. When others or yourself push you to go faster – you go slower. Be calm. Whenever in doubt, wait it out. Whenever you feel rushed, you must slow down.

The only pilot you should try to be better than is the pilot you were yesterday. You want to get better at flying………Fly More.

I will end this part by repeating what the sky gods said – ” He who flies safe and has the most fun with his flying is the best amongst you !” I’d rather say, don’t expect to be a great pilot, enjoy the piloting.

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