A new year is upon us filled with new opportunities. If you’re anything like me, you’ve created a list of things you would like to accomplish in 2022 and are wondering how to get things started. At the top of my list is becoming current.
I started flying in 2007 and I have around 245 hours. Like a lot of new pilots, I flew a lot after I earned my license. After a few years, however, life caught up and I flew less and less. A lot of people are surprised to hear that I don’t fly much anymore. It’s not that I don’t want to, it just hasn’t been a priority. Now that I am making it a priority again, let me walk you through my process of becoming current.
My first step in becoming current was to consult our national chief pilot, Steven Daun. I wanted to make sure that my personal goal was met with a strategy and well-laid-out plan. His recommendations were simple, “Get your medical, and let’s create a structured curriculum that revolves around your needs and experience.” My first step was to hit the books. Steven wanted to make sure I was solid in the following areas:
- Flight planning (including weight and balance calculations)
To my surprise, I was rusty, but the basics were still there. The greatest hurdle was cross-country flight planning. Steven had warned me, “Do not run off and purchase Foreflight thinking it will replace your knowledge of flight planning. Get back to being able to plan a cross country on your own and then use Foreflight.” He was right, I learned a lot by re-learning how to plan my own cross country.
For the flight portion, Steven recommended that when we fly together, we should work on the following:
- Start by working together in the simulator because it will help you regain your skills and enhance your understanding of procedures.
- In the airplane, focus on basic attitude flying. Without this basic skill, landing the airplane will be extremely difficult.
- Once you’ve mastered basic attitude flying, work on your landings.
- Once you’ve got your landings down, work on navigation during a cross-country flight.
- During my cross country (I want to perform the entire flight myself; your instructor may want to do the first leg) we would also work on emergency procedures.
When you put this plan together it looks like a standard flight review. However, in my case, working with an experienced CFI allowed me to see my areas of weakness. In order for my 2022 goal of becoming current to turn into a reality, I needed a plan. I know that if I stick with it and put in the effort, I’ll be able to say what Hannibal from the A-Team said: “I love it when a plan comes together.” I hope my goal for 2022 encourages you, in some way, to set your own aviation goals. As always, if we at American Flyers can do anything to help you with your journey, please call us at 1-800-362-0808.