JR: What follows is a response to a comment left on the post Panhandle Rancher: Felling and Splitting
Re: Woodcutting Post comment by Single Mom
To reiterate, some technology provides the test before the lesson. I first came to believe this with firearms, then with airplanes, and later with chainsaws. I was a commercial, instrument rated pilot when I had my first (hopefully) and only thus far, gear up landing. Experienced airplane pilots remark their peers all come in two categories, those how have (landed gear up) and those who will. This is contrary to professional training and detailed checklists. The same case can be made for dry firing weapons. Do it long enough and sooner or later you will hear an unexpected loud noise. You make my point about chainsaws being dangerous beasts. That is why I never cut with one alone. Heating the house with wood just about requires a chainsaw as does living in the forest. I’m glad your father survived.
Somewhat like St. Paul, I have thus far survived hardship and peril and have come to believe that the concept of ‘safety’ exists only in weak minds and timid souls. Ladd said it best, “A ship in the harbor is safe, but that is not what ships are made for.” This world is a dangerous place full of risks, sadly most unrecognized. When encountering hardship with complaint, I remind my children they come from a long line of survivors, quit whining.
I knew the potential for a gear up landing when I first soloed a retractable gear airframe. Knowing that risk, I received the best commercial training possible at Flight Safety, stayed instrument current, and took regular check rides. Understanding this risk, I enjoyed flying my high performance, complex retractable until one nice summer day when flying solo and on final approach, a retina detached. I thought someone hit the cockpit with a laser. A tribute to the classic stable approach, the plane landed itself with a blinded pilot at the helm. It was the classic good landing; I was led away from the wreckage unhurt other than being blind. A great landing would have left the airframe flyable again without repair. A copilot would have left the airframe flyable without repair. Hence my insistence on having someone else present when using the chainsaw (if only to apply a tourniquet).
Like so much technology, axes and cutting instruments of all kinds sometimes provide tests before lessons. This does not mean we should eschew all technology and live the life of a latter day Luddite.