Sunday, July 09, 2006

Good Mistakes.

We all make mistakes - you don't get a choice as to what mistakes you make, because you don't know they are mistakes until after the fact, and if you knew before you made them that they were mistakes then you wouldn't have made them in the first place.

Got that?

I made a good mistake today. I was looking for a place to temporarily park my venerable C152 at Wollongong aerodrome. I spotted a likely looking spot and trundled over towards it, as only a C152 can trundle. A man appeared next to my intended resting place, crossing his arms and pointing at the ground. Misinterpreting this as a sign that I should park there, I proceeded to do just that. More nimble minded readers will spot the symbology described not to signify welcome, but no trespassing. Which indeed it was. Recent heavy rains had left the grassy area boggy. The Cessna treaded lightly over the ground for a few metres then sunk ignominiously and refused to budge. The man and I studied the situation briefly then pushed the bird backwards and back onto terra decidedly more firma. Fortunately only the nose wheel had sunk in, and only as far as the axle. Any deeper and a prop strike would have been imminent. He then very helpfully directed me onto a nice dry patch of lawn, where I shut down and thanked my lucky stars.

This is what I categorise as a good mistake. If I have to make a mistake in the future, I hope it's like this one. It was good because there was no damage done and I learnt something from the experience.

If you are going to go off road with an aeroplane, walk the ground first to determine it's suitability as a parking space.


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