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Stay Inspired

EAA is your guide to getting the most out of the world of flight and giving your passion room to grow.


By Ian Brown, Editor, EAA 657159

March 2021 – What an antidote to this persistent, pandemic-plagued period was the event of the Perseverance rover landing on Mars! In trying to explain why this landing was so significant to someone who was unimpressed, I said, "Imagine at the end of your life, not knowing that there had indeed been spontaneous life on another planet." That's a distinct possibility and one that could possibly be answered in just a few short years when the samples Perseverance has collected are returned to Earth. We have already been amazed by pictures being sent back to Earth literally minutes after the successful landing.

The moon-landing period cost $283 billion when adjusted for inflation. As a percentage of U.S. federal budgets, NASA spent 4.5 percent in 1965, compared to just 0.4 percent in 2018. A total of 12 men walked on the moon, but so far no one has walked on Mars. In the case of the moon-walk era, they basically discovered that it's just a rock. Evidence of an atmosphere and water makes Mars so much more significant.

Anyway, subtly changing the subject, perseverance is what we all need right now. Several of us have already had the vaccination, and if other countries are anything to go by, we should soon see numbers improving and perhaps be able to resume our flying passions. As mentioned last month, SUN 'n FUN and EAA AirVenture Oshkosh WILL happen — with precautions but they will happen. I recently attended an aviation expo in Naples, Florida, and was pleased to see most people respecting the masking and social-distancing rules. Unfortunately, in the land of the free, there are always people who take the stance that they are free to do what they like.

We've started a new series this month that should be close to the hearts of our readers. We're calling it Prolific Builders, and we're going to feature a different builder's story each month. The idea is to feature "repeat offenders," their histories, and what they've learned in the process of building multiple aircraft. I'm sure we'll learn a lot. This month it's Dale Lamport of Smiths Falls, Ontario. Many of you have heard of him.

Thanks once more to our participating authors this month. I challenged several people to think about mistakes they'd made as pilots and for them to share their lessons learned. I think it can make us all safer pilots. I hope you enjoy their thoughts.

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