What American Airlines Taught Me Most

by Dave Jackson

Well, I’m sure I’m not going to get all of the story in one post tonight. What I learned at American Airlines was more than a book full. In fact, I’ve often thought about writing about the whole episode of my life there. It was perfect timing and I learned exactly what I needed to. It’s amazing how that when the student is ready…the teacher will appear. Thank God for that.

Let me tell you briefly, since I need to get some rest (and you might, too) that the biggest thing I learned there is how the whole operation of flight can be applied to life. I don’t know how many times I’ve looked back at my experiences there and said wow… that is exactly what I need to be doing right now.

You see, to fly a commercial route, like American Airlines does hundreds of times a day, you need a flight plan. And in life, in order to get where you’re going – if you’re even headed somewhere – you need some sort of plan.

There are SO many facets of getting one flight from point A to point B, and almost all of them have something very vital and similar in our daily lives. What I’m going to be doing over the next few weeks is showing you how the two are similar and how the flying can help the living. Let me tell you, it has helped me so much – this is something you can use everyday.

An ebook I am almost finished with is largely taken from experience I learned at AA. Basically, I knew my destination, I just had no clue how to get there with what I had. Thankfully the airline biz helped me with all the answers and I am positive it can help you.

Did you know that each aircraft that flies in the fleet for an airline is constantly being maintained and is scheduled through a maintenance base a few times a year? It’s sorta like a checkup really. There are a few flavors. Think of them like going to your doctor. You know, you might just need an adjustment, so you go to the chiropractor. And if you need something more you’d go for a scan or have tests done. And finally, once a year, you have a major “physical” done.

It’s the same with that 767 you just flew (or the 737, too.) They go in for light checkups, medium checks and a full-blown, take the airplane apart check about once a year.

With an aircraft, you can’t mess around. But what I do is make my health just as important. It’s serious stuff and the checks should be as routine and planned as that 737. You see, if an airline treated their fleet like a lot of people treat their health, they would soon be out of business.

How do you schedule your checkups? Well. the airline business does this by counting rotations. A rotation is when the nose wheel leaves the ground and the aircraft begins to be airborne. That’s one rotation. The engines are clocked by how many hours they run, but are also checked during the checkups done after so many rotations. So you need to figure out how to incorporate this “counting” system into your schedule. For me, I get a minor tweak each week at a chiropractor who is also a naturopath. Semi annually I get a blood test and annually, the full physical.

Aircraft are bound by a myriad of rules and regulations, most by the FAA, but a bunch by the airline itself. For example, if something important breaks, they may not be able to fly. Other items can be placarded, which means they are written up as not working and fixed as soon as the airplane gets to a base that has parts.

For you, there should be certain items set that you will not continue, like when you go over a certain weight, you won’t eat like a pig and will start jogging immediately. Other things can be taken care of as soon as you possibly can, like getting all the amalgam out of your mouth, or getting your eyes checked.

Finally, know that just like an aircraft, your body – as wonderful as it is – replaces cells by the millions all the time. How the cells know to do this is crazy fascinating. (Thank you, God!) Most aircraft (airframe) parts can be replaced. You’d be amazed what that 737 looks like with no outside skin or without one of the engines. Yet those parts wear out. The airline makes sure over the life of the plane that it gets the best they can afford. You, too, should eat the best you can so that your body has a fighting chance to repair what it needs and change out the cells that need to be changed.

When you tax your body with foods that make it work extra hard to filter poisons, like sugars, colors, fat, it doesn’t have much of an opportunity to repair itself. And repairing takes a lot of energy, which many times is used up in fighting our poor diet. Think about that the next time you eat.

Well, there are other similarities, but you get the point. Value what you’ve got. If you knew how good it could be there would be no question about maintaining your health. And on this last note, today my 9 year old had her end of the year party at school. And I noticed one of the classmates who has a very serious disease. She takes heavy medication for it. But the family is oblivious to how diet affects the body because this person was downing pizza and chocolate like nobody’s business. It’s sad, really, that people misuse what God has given them.

We have all we need to be cured, to live large, to live wealthy. Share what you learn with others and it will come back to you. I promise. And don’t forget to read more about my parallels to American Airlines this month. Take care!

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