A few summers ago I was involved with COPA on organizing Migration number four. There were host of volunteers working daily to make Migration the best event ever. And sure enough, each Migration was getting better and better. Every volunteer was entrusted with a specific task and everyone trusted that this task will be completed on time and as promised. After the Migration, I was a de-facto organizer and continued to work on the Migration 5.
About 5 month before M5, I had serious issues that affected my family and I knew that I would not be able to dedicate anymore time to the job I was trusted with, yet I did not bring it up and discussed it with the team. At the end, Gordon and his wife volunteered to take over my responsibility within 4 month of Migration 5 and with the help from many volunteers pulled it off without a hitch. At that point the trust between my peers and I was broken.
Forward to September 9, 2008:
My wife has been telling me about a seminar at Snowbird, UT which is put together by www.coveylink.com and is called “The Speed of Trust”. Being somewhat skeptical, I agreed to spend two days in UT. We departed in the afternoon to fly from KFUL (Fullerton) to KSLC (Salt Lake City) in essentially straight line over Las Vegas. During the flight at 11K and 13K and deviating for thunderstorms, I watched mountain ridges pass by and new ones appear in front of me. With all of the tasks to do and weather to deal with, I felt safe inside the Cirrus. I did the pre-flight, I studied weather, I filed IFR flight plan and I just finished by BFR and IPC even though I was IFR current.
There was another feeling during this flight, the feeling of safety because of trust. I felt the safety of the parachute right behind me ready and willing to bring me softly to the ground in case of emergency and I felt yet another comfort level knowing that I flew the Cirrus aircraft. I have been at the factory 4 times; I have met both Alan and Dale brothers and was always fascinated by their true desire to make a better plane. The bottom line I trusted them with the product they made and company they run. I also felt the safety of COPA wisdom. Over the years of Cirrus ownership COPA members were always ready to answer any questions raised and provide recommendation on any situations. Because of COPA I had enhanced check lists, better understanding of emergency procedures and I was well versed in reading MFD engine data.
Landing at Salt Lake City:
The landing was uneventful and was helped by the KSLC controller who mentioned that if I cancel IFR, I can go visual instead of staying at 11K and then circling down over the runway. It took us a few minutes to unload the plane and another 30 minutes to drive to Snowbird, and that is when I was startled. The mountains looked huge, uninviting, and sharp and with very steep slopes. The granite peaks looked straight up ready to tear apart anything that comes in contact with them. There is no way; I thought to myself, I would survive a parachute landing in these mountains. My trust and comfort with the “parachute inside” was slowly deteriorating.
Next two days:
For the next 2 days I and a group of other 30 knowledge starving people around the world were exposed to the concept of “Speed of Trust” that included “The 5 waves of trust”, “The 4 Cores of Credibility”, “Smart Trust” and “The 13 Behaviors of trust”. The process was tedious and full of explanations and exercises, but the Cool Aid tasted great! In the process I met many interesting people with many fascinating stories to tell. And if you ever decide to play around with this concept, visit the http://www.whotrustsyou.com/ web site and see what score you will get.
On the way back to KFUL I selected the route to minimize exposure to high peaks and I had 2 hours for an uninterrupted flying and thinking. It was VMC and when I was out of KSLC airspace, I was on my own at 13500 over the desert with my wife safely sleeping on the back seat and autopilot engaged. And once again the peaks did not look as dangerous or steep at that altitude.
I could not stop but thinking about COPA 2.0, the conversion experience, the bugs, the difficulties, the disappointments and acceptance. Many of us wanted the old forum back, because it worked, yet the reality was different, we were in the COPA 2.0 land. It took some time to get adjusted and to find an acceptable way to work around the old habits. Today, I miss the old COPA 1.0 forum but I embrace the new COPA2.0 platform. I believe that COPA leaders have Integrity, Intent and Capability to make COPA 2.0 the best platform for all members of this organization.
I landed at KFUL at 8:15pm, parked my plane and drove home thinking how privileged we Cirrus pilots are. We fly the best plane in the world, we have freedom of flying anywhere at any time and we can accomplish more in less time.
12 Sep 2008 2:32