You only get one chance

Corwin - Woodstock, Vermont
Entered on September 2, 2008
Age Group: 50 - 65

Sometimes I believe getting only one chance is a very good thing.

Way back in 1984 I became interested in flying sailplanes or gliders as they are most often called. Although I had flown small single engine airplanes in my youth, I had never imagined that I would be so crazy as to fly in an airplane without an engine. But one day, a friend invited me to take a ride in a two seat glider and I was bitten for life.

I went through the usual training program and advanced to student pilot, then soloed, soon received my private pilot certificate for flying gliders, and eventually bought my own glider – a wonderful old bird that was built in Elmira, New York in 1962. I have been flying gliders ever since.

But what I still treasure most is the understanding that with gliders you only have one chance to land – there is no “go-around” like there is with powered flight. You simply have to get it right the first time…there is no second chance. In this world where it seems that everybody has a second chance for just about everything, this is very special. Having only had “one chance” has changed my life in many ways. You can’t have a second go and you certainly can not blame your mistakes on someone else.

The experience is at once terrifying and intensely rewarding. No more second chances for me, thank you. I believe in sometimes only having that one chance!