Does experience foster complacency?

We are led to believe that nothing is better than experience. However, history shows that even the most experienced people tend to blunder. My personal experience is proof of my point.

As a commercial pilot for 43 years (I’m now retired at 79) and having my own aircraft, I am allowed to perform minor maintenance on my airplane, like changing engine oil, checking tire pressure, etc.

Some years ago, I changed my engine oil and filter and did not do what I had done 30 years past; that is, to check for oil leaks after a brief engine run-up. Without doing that I decided to take off, when I noticed that my oil pressure gauge read “zero.” I aborted my takeoff and, after investigating the problem, discovered the oil filter gasket was missing. I do not know if I failed to install it or it fell off during installation. It was during taxiing and engine run-up when the oil leaked out. Had I taken off, I probably would not be writing this letter.

My point is, during the state senatorial election, the incumbent chairperson of the Transportation Committee claims that experience is the thing that counts. If her record were that perfect, she wouldn’t have to campaign so vigorously for re-election.

I feel that a new individual with a more positive outlook on Senate responsibilities and fiscal decisions should replace her. The current 10th Legislative District state representative challenging her would be a good choice.

Al Enriquez

Oak Harbor


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