Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Taking Time to Polish

I spend a lot of time at the flight club... and spend a lot of time flying. People there know I've been working on my commercial rating for 3 months. They're starting to ask when my check ride will be. I keep telling them that I'm in the polishing stage of flight training. Just polishing off these maneuvers and tasks to PTS spec is what I was thinking. Recently I've changed my mind about that.

In this phase of my training, my CFI is taking some real time to help me really refine my skills. Not just to get to the point of passing a check ride, but to get to the point of real "mastery of the aircraft". He's been excited to see flashes of me demonstrating real mastery of the airplane I'm flying. I've been even more excited to do it.

I love to fly. I love flying with precision, with mastery, even more. Flying a precise instrument approach. Feeling the airplane levitate itself off the runway. Pulling power and gliding to land on a particular spot and using the flaps in just the right way to get the extra lift I need. Managing the tradeoff between airspeed and altitude to fly the plane to exactly the spot I want - without focusing on that spot. The pleasing scrch of the mains as they touch down gently on the runway, on the centerline of course. And my favorite, flying Lazy 8s with precision and grace, a maneuver that I will never use as a commercial pilot but on that is very, very fun!

I could rush this phase, push hard to get just good enough to meet the PTS specs and then push my CFI to sign me off for the checkride. To be honest, if I have a good day I could most likely pass a checkride today. Or, I can take advantage of this opportunity to work with the expert aviator pilot that my flight instructor is to really polish my skills. I'm going to take advantage of this opportunity. The checkride will come in its own time.

1 comment:

  1. Wonderful! That is the post that I like to read and the 'attitude' that I'd like to believe is the standard of every commercial pilot. (We both know better.) This is not about checking the boxes and passing the check ride, but staying ahead of your flight plan and absolute mastery of your aircraft, and perhaps knowing who is flying for whom before you take off. You've got it young lady and I hope you keep it.