By: Mike Forth
Spring has sprung! You know what that means. It’s time to get back in your favorite airplane, take the family and friends out, show them the local sights or plan that long-awaited vacation. It’s a chance to remind everyone that you belong to a rare group of skilled people. You’re a Pilot! You can do what few can: make a machine leave the ground, navigate to another place and bring it back to earth safely.
I have found few things more enjoyable or rewarding than heading out on a calm, clear day and doing nothing more than drill holes in a beautiful blue sky. Sit above the earth, look down and let all the small things disappear. It’s one of the things that drew most of us to the airport in the first place.
But! Don’t let the good weather fool you; your first thoughts must be, “Am I prepared?” Before you head out, be sure to put safety first! Give a call to your flight instructor. Schedule time to go over all the changes that have taken place over the winter months or since the last time you flew.
You don’t want to find yourself busting airspace you didn’t know had changed or had been added in the last few months. Are you still current when it comes to reading navigation and/or weather charts? We all know how fast things can change. Do you really remember how to spot those little things that warn of obstacles or changes in the weather ahead? Just because the sky is blue right now doesn’t mean it will stay that way.
How long has it been since you practiced crosswind landings? Has it been a while? All those little things can catch you off guard on a clear sunny day and add up to a lot of unwanted, unneeded stress, or worse.
Get back in the airplane with an instructor first. Go through all the maneuvers. Be sure all that rust is knocked off. Don’t kid yourself, thinking it’s not there. It’s there, it’s real, and it’s guaranteed to show up when it’s allowed to grow.
You owe it to yourself, your passengers and the general public to always be a safe, current, competent pilot.
American Flyers offers an array of recurrent training programs to help you get back into the pilot seat. If you would like information on these and other programs offered by American Flyers, please contact our National Support Team at 800-362-0808.
Enjoy the season. Be safe. Do what you know must be done to ensure blue skies and fair winds on every flight.