The one thing NOT to do in a crisis situation, is panic! Maggie Taraska says she might have panicked a little, “just less than most people would,” said the rookie pilot.

Taraska was ready for her initial cross country solo-flight from the Beverly Regional Airport in Massachusetts. It was then that the teenage pilot had to execute an emergence landing as the right wheel fell off the single engine plane.”I just knew that I had to fly the plane and just wait until I knew I could land and had the confidence to land,” said the 17-year-old.

Her instructor, John Singleton and air traffic control at the Regional Airport talked Maggie through the emergency landing.

“OK, you’re doing a great job flying the airplane. Keep doing what you’re doing. We’re going to take our time here. We’ve got plenty of time. You have plenty of fuel. We’ve got plenty of daylight. So just try to relax, and you always heard me say, ‘Go back to basics,’ so we’re going to work the basics here as much as possible, OK?” asked Singleton.

To which Maggie replied “All right.”

“She worked through it, she focused on what she had to focus on, that’s what kept her safe,” said her instructor, John Singleton.

The Next Leap Forward

“You have to have confidence in your ability if you’re going to be a pilot so I knew that I had practiced emergency procedures plenty of times and I knew that if I tried my best and I kept a cool head, there would be the best outcome possible,” Taraska said.

Such poise and focus for the young pilot.

The ‘best outcome possible’ is the takeaway from this unique story.

If we put Maggie’s process to work, then the equation for success has to be: Challenge multiplied by Confidence equals Best Outcome Possible.

Circumstances can sometimes be beyond your control. Maggie Taraska had no idea she would need to be in a position to perform an emergency landing that day; but when she quickly accessed the situation, she knew her confidence would be critically important.

As Maggie said, ‘you have to have confidence in your ability’!

It comes down to having the right mindset and being able to put everything in perspective. When you do that, your fate will change.