A pilot faces tough choices with almost every flight: Weather, mechanics, and other challenges continually arise to make the decisions pilots make concerning their life’s passion very difficult.
One particular pilot I learned about recently faced a tough choice while he was in route flying to an unknown destination. “Joseph” was flying solo through the clouds in his little Cessna when all of a sudden he heard the strangest noise. He couldn’t put his finger on the sound’s origin until he looked behind him towards the tail of the plane.
In the interior shadows of the tail section Joseph was horrorfied to discover a large rat chewing into the cables that steered his little plane. Joseph could hardly believe his eyes! “How did a rat get on board my plane?“ He thought…”and he is chewing through my flight cables!”
Joseph could see the cables fraying but tried to remain calm and rely on his many hours of flight training. Years ago he vaguely recalled being trained on animals getting loose in the plane and how to prevent an air disaster…
But a rat?! And this was no ordinary rat – this varmint was intent on causing Joseph to crash and burn, which made this critter a kamikaze rat!
After much anguished thought, and uncontrollable sweat, Joseph knew there was only two choices that lay before him: He could make an emergency landing at the nearest airport, or pull hard on the yoke and take the little plane straight up.
The emergency landing would put him at an airport where a crew of experienced rat killers could handle Joseph’s harrowing dilemma. It would delay his flight for several hours, but Joseph knew that a support team would eliminate the problem.
Pulling hard on the yoke and taking the plane straight up, several thousand more feet was another choice alltogether. Joseph knew that making this choice would put him in a more precarious position. He would not have the comfort of knowing professional rat killers would save the day. As a matter of fact, Joseph would be all by himself, flying up into the atmosphere, relying solely on his flight training and subsequent knowledge.
A Tough choice faced Joseph. Should he try and land the plane before the cables were completely knawed through & have the airport specialists manage the situation? Or should he fly straight up into the thinning atmosphere, all alone, but knowing that the lack of oxygen at such a great height would kill the rat?
Both choices were good ones. Joseph knew the pros & cons of the tough decision he would have to quickly commit to. And “commitment” would take on a new meaning in his life at that point!
Which choice do you think he made?