Flights and Fancy: Brooders vs. Extroverts
- By Darisse Smith
- Air & Space magazine, August 2009
(Page 2 of 2)
The helicopter pilot in me freaked out. So this is how I am going to die: in a tiny aluminum capsule crash in a farmer’s field where no one will find us for days. Jeff looked miles ahead of us and said, “I’m going to shoot for that field.” Being used to flying a giant lawn dart,
I thought, No way will we make it.
But the little airplane glided in perfectly. It was the most beautiful landing of the day: no broken back, no propellers in the cockpit, not even a damaged landing gear.
The bright-eyed optimist might have won that day, but I still believe a moderate dose of brooding introspection is healthy. As soon as you bring a helicopter to a hover and see how it takes both of your hands and feet to keep it from slamming into the parking pad, you begin every flight preparing for the worst.
Iraq war veteran Darisse Smith is an account executive with Alliance International, a firm that recruits junior military officers.