My friend Warren told me Sunday he reads this blog. I know I have a small audience, but that made me happy.
Warren is a Delta pilot and has been for quite a while. He's raised 3 children, and he and his wife Pat are now empty nesters. Warren flies internationally, and Warren takes fine care of Pat as she fights breast cancer. They are a good team, and Warren is someone I admire.
Once I shared with Warren a theory I had about flying. Since I fly Delta almost exclusively, my flying observation was really a Delta observation. And so my theory was this: the younger the pilot, the harder the landing.
When I shared this with Warren, he smiled at me and then politely told me I had no idea what I was talking about. For reference, I mentioned an incredibly hard hitting landing I'd recently experienced going into Seattle. He asked a few questions about the plane, namely he made me tell him how many rows of seats there were so he could figure out the specific plane I was in, and then he announced that the plane I was on was easily one of the hardest planes to fly of all Delta planes.
When he finished, Warren had basically educated me to understand that the larger the plane, the harder it is for the pilot to land it with little to no impact. In other words, the harder the landing, the harder the plane is to land in the first place. There are so many factors involved with landing, he said, such as wind and speed, that you can't generalize and assume a young pilot's at the helm.
Basically, Warren told me I was ignorant, which amused me to no end since he did it so elegantly and politely. I've never had anybody tell me I was a knucklehead with more style, and I never had anybody tell me to do my homework more professionally. It was hilarious and deserved.
This, then, is my tip of the cap to my friend Warren, who I know to be a good man, a veteran pilot, a good husband and father, and an avid iPad user. He is plugged in. So whether you catch this from home or at 30,000 feet, Warren, next time you fly to Sydney, Australia, please set that plane down gently. Meanwhile I'll be doing my homework.