Discussing Lifeson's flying.
Lifeson: I got my license in 1980, and then I was so keen after I got my license. It was a challenge. We were touring a lot back then. We were gone for long periods of time. It took me a year to get my license, because I couldn't fly. I was away a lot. When I was home, I went as much as I could. Winter, it's minus 30 – that's when winter was winter, and you aren't going to fly on those days. It's just too cold.
I was so into it. I wanted something that would challenge me, that I would do that would, again, be different from being on tour and playing and all of that stuff, and force me to be very responsible about what I was doing, and the application of this thing that I was learning.
After I got my license, I got my multi-engine rating. I got a float rating, I got a night rating – I got basically everything except my instrument rating. I have lots of instrument time, but... this is something that he should be aware of, too, and he probably is. Unless you're going to be really serious about your instrument rating, and really work towards it and keep it current, then you're better off to not get it and just be a recreational flyer when it's sunny and nice outside, and go and enjoy it.
Smith: You can't fly at night if you're…
Lifeson: You can get a night rating to fly at night. For an instrument where you're in cloud and those sort of things, things can happen so, so very quickly. If you don't have the experience, and you're up to date with it, it can be extremely dangerous.
Smith: I think the Kennedy had …
Lifeson: John Kennedy is a perfect example. He went out at dusk. He figured, "It's still light outside. I can get there, just as it's getting dark. I'll be fine." He had a fair bit of experience, but not a great deal, and no instrument – from what I understand – no instrument experience. The thing is, at dusk, that's maybe the worst time because there's no horizon. That's what happened. He got disoriented, because he couldn't see the horizon. Even though it wasn't night... he's looking for this, and he's not looking at his instruments. What he should have done, as soon as he sensed any kind of problem, was to immediately turn back and go back to his departure airport. But you know, that's not the way guys think, mostly.
Smith: Yeah. "Oh, I can make it. I want to get there."
Lifeson: It happened so, so quickly.