Flying Thoughts

Aviation Photography by van Etten

Flying Thoughts

156 pages

Publisher; Author House

Author: Richard I. Ward

ISBN 1-4208-4920-4

 “Solid” is the word that constantly wormed its way into my mind as I was sneaking yet another quick read while waiting for take-off clearance with the rain splashing on my windscreen. There was certainly difficulty in putting this book aside. Those who’ve met me know I’m constantly dragging around a collection of review books in my flightbag. Many call me Linus as I schlep my security blanket of books around with me from one meeting to the next like the character in Snoopy.  As I transit from one plane to the next I’d steal a few moments to review Richard’s new book while waiting for tower clearance. The UK is small hence flights are short and frequent.

The strap line is “An Aviator’s Flight Through Life”, at 156 pages you’d probably think “short”. On the contrary, Richard’s life has been full and long and still going strong. The book reflects, even in its length, his ability to focus on what is important. So what is important? Energy, commitment and enthusiasm, that’s what I’ve distilled from his writings. Again I repeat, “solid”, Richard hails from an era where the USA produced exceptional people, it was these kind of people that have made this country strong. We definitely need more strong personalities with certain “can do” attitudes. 

This book is not just about flying. It’s more about leading a positive life with common sense practices in opening and running your own business, your own life. Who needs Harvard when most of us have what it takes already residing within. It’s the fear of failure that is the greatest fear of all. Richard put fear aside and made decisions that were “home made”, it’s this quality that puts solid organisations on the table. Home brew values are rare; companies built on this structure are rare. The ENRONs of this world come and go like lightening, need I say more? 

So what does this have to do with flying? Those who have sat in the cockpit of a flying aircraft know what I am talking about. Unlike a car, in flying you need to constantly prioritise, manage, plan and execute. There is no second opinion here, being focused is what counts. Most aviators have, by the very nature of their vocation, an ability to see the “big picture”.

Richard has written for us all a short book on a long life. My suggestion here is that all who wish to open or are operating a business, read this book, now. It can, unlike me, be read in one sitting. You will feel refreshed with the energy that resides in its pages electrifying you into positive action. Wherever you are, Richard’s energy will find you and reach out like a beacon and waypoint. Clear the runways of your mind and get clearance from Ward. Let him help you navigate the waypoints of life. Keep this book onboard. Like me, review it again and again while waiting for that next take-off clearance.


Capt. James van Etten