He hadn’t flown in a couple of years now, but it was time to renew his flight instructor certificate. The process involved reviewing a series of lessons and special interest items before taking quizzes to demonstrate mastery of the material.
As he didn’t really plan on flying again, he was doing this strictly to “be prepared.” He had worked hard to get the certification, and didn’t want to lose it if he didn’t have to. Who knew? Maybe he’d change his mind in the future. Regardless, the point is that he reviewed the data with curiosity, rather than practical application. The thing about aviation, the thing which he loved–and missed–the most, was the dedication of all involved to “doing it right.”
The noteworthy finding this time was the conclusion that overrunning the end of the runway on a botched takeoff is safer than trying to force an aircraft to fly. He loved it. What a metaphor! You see, he knew that a major reason pilots would choose to force an aircraft to fly was to save face. That’s it. Overrunning the runway on takeoff will inevitably lead to embarrassment–though likely not much else. And if there has ever been a group of individuals who would rather die than suffer embarrassment, it is pilots.
As he knew, as the reader knows, forcing the metaphorical aircraft to fly in grounded-life won’t cause death. But it does cause drama. And who among us doesn’t know someone who would rather create drama, than suffer embarrassment? He tallied how many times in recent memory he tried to “force the aircraft to fly.” How many times had he crashed and burned in life because he didn’t want to suffer the embarrassment that would have followed if he would’ve just put on the brakes and let his momentum peter out?
He’s asking us, “How many relationships could be deepened–or healed–if we made the decision to “overrun the runway” every once in a while?”