Saturday, November 21, 2015

The Value of Flying Less

It's odd for me to say, but there is some value to flying less it seems. At this point in my training, I'm done with training and now what I'm doing is maintaining my skills. I'm no longer meeting with my CFI on a weekly basis. My lesson plans for private and commercial are complete and ready for the FAA to look them over. The request is in to the FSDO for my check ride. No word yet on a date. So there's not much for me to do now but maintain.

I had been flying 3-4 times a week, trying to perfect my technique. Now I'm flying 1-2 times a week and, what I'm finding is, I seem to do best with about 10 - 14 days between "practice" sessions. A practice session is when I go up and go through all of the maneuvers to keep them fresh in my mind and reflexes.

Today I went up on a gorgeous fall morning and did all of the maneuvers that I may be called upon during the CFI check ride. Takeoffs, landings and go-arounds (9), fundamentals of flight (4), performance maneuvers (4), ground reference maneuvers (4), slow flight & stalls (7), and emergency operations (3). 1.7 hours, 6 takeoffs and landings and everything I did was easily within spec and quite fun.

It's a different type of flying now... not trying. Not thinking, just doing and "teaching" as I do. I ran into my CFI after the flight and told him how happy I was with my performance. He said he wasn't surprised at all. I'm glad it didn't surprise him. It actually didn't surprise me either... I found after a 10 day vacation when I came back I flew extremely well so I was hoping for a similar result with a 2 week break between practice sessions.

Tomorrow I'm going flying for brunch with some friends, I'll practice general good airmanship then. The same thing I did last weekend when I flew with my daughter to Sacramento so she could tour her future school. At the moment my plan is to touch each maneuver once a week, or once every two weeks depending on work and weather, and not stress it. I'm ready... and I think my job now is to maintain my readiness as simply and economically as possible. I need to start reviewing my lesson plans I think, so they're fresh in my mind whenever the FSDO calls!

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