Fear of the unknown, its is one of the most debilitating issues in a person’s life. Even though Jon is a professional air show pilot, he has to deal with it too. Years of experience has helped him to manage fear of the unknown, but it is still something that makes “stepping into the Danger Zone” difficult. In this *Special* episode, Jon talks about managing fear of the unknown. As Jon is in his hangar, he is going to practice some new very complex aerobatic maneuvers. It’s an off-season in the air show industry, so it is a perfect time to look at modifying his air show performance. More specifically, to look at what maneuvers could be changed to make the performance more entertaining.
To understand more about what Jon has to face, he explains more about the airplane he is flying today. Why he chose that type of airplane and the specifications behind it. One of the planes he flies is the Pitts Model S1-11-B. It is a bi-plane with two wings, high horsepower, and not an easy plane to fly for beginners. Jon likes flying the bi-plane type aircraft because when he was 12 years old, he saw the movie “The Great Waldo Pepper” which had a tri-plane (three wing airplane) which was black with yellow checkerboard. That is one of the reason’s why Jon flies a black and yellow checkerboard airplane today. That, and it looks cool in the air and on the ground. As Jon explains about the airplane, he climbs inside the cockpit to explain more dealing with fear of the unknown.
We all face fears of the unknown and sometimes those fears make it so you don’t want to do anything at all. In fact, Jon talks about how he would rather go play golf on this Saturday then face the fears of doing some new complex maneuvers. The fact is Jon has been performing basically the same routine for the past 4 years. It works, it is safe, but it is lacking some intensity. The struggle is should Jon just leave it alone or add some new complex maneuvers to make the routine more exciting? He doesn’t have to, maybe it is better just to leave it alone. But complacency isn’t the solution to doing what you know is right. Knowing in your knower as Jon explains in a previous episode. These ones are difficult to maintain consistency and could be disastrous if not executed correctly at an airshow. Since Jon hasn’t practiced these maneuvers for a couple of years, there is a little fear setting in. But as Jon describes, there is a “Devil” on one shoulder and an “Angel” on the other. Each saying things to discourage or encourage dealing with the upcoming unknown.
When facing fears of the unknown, that “Devil” on the shoulder will tell you every possible reason why you shouldn’t do it. This is true in every aspect of the unknown in your life. The reality is that nobody knows how it is going to turn out. The best you can do is be prepared for the unknown and “creep” into it. Making sure you have as much knowledge as possible before you venture into the unknown. As Jon explains, you have to press through and venture into the unknown. You have this one life to live and if you never get outside of your own boundaries, you will never have the full life experience with stories to back it up.