Sunday, January 12, 2014

Write It Down

My Sketch of the Piper Arrow II
When I study I make a lot of notes. I don't refer back to them all that often, but I find when I write something down, that activity cements whatever I need to learn into my brain.

Yesterday I had several hours between my practice flight and meeting with my CFI at the flight club. I wasn't feeling great after the flight as I was still getting over my head cold. I live an hour drive away from the club so driving home and then back was out of the question.

I had to find something to occupy my time and maybe help me feel better. I went outside to the Arrow I've been flying to make sure I knew what every antenna and bump on the plane is for my check ride. I found an A&P familiar with this particular plane and got the information I needed. I drew a rough sketch of the plane's profile and antennas in my notebook and labeled all of the antennas.

I relaxed for a while by sitting and sometimes laying on the ground next to the plane. Enjoying the fresh, cool, and moist air as it helped clear my head. I thought a bit about how writing things helps me learn and about how I need to really "learn" this particular plane. The thought occurred to me, maybe I could write down the plane, by drawing it. It's been literally years since I've sat and sketched something but I remembered how drawing something carefully helps me learn the subtle details of what I draw. 

The ramp was mostly empty and I had a lot of time. I took a chair from the patio of the flight club and placed it in just the right position, sat down and drew a more detailed sketch of the plane. I did learn more by this activity. I hadn't consciously realized how great the dihedral angle of the wings of this particular aircraft was. Drawing the wing made it obvious.

I am not sure what else I learned by this exercise but I am certainly more aware of the details of the shape of an airplane. It gave me a chance to exercise a skill I had not used in a very long time. As an added bonus I only got a couple odd looks from passersby as I did it :)

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