Here we go again

Back to regaining skills acquired and lost.

Until yesterday, I haven’t flown since September 2011. I forget the exact date (logbook not with me now) but let’s say it was late September. That means it has been about 3 and a half months and possibly 4 months. Part of the blame for not flying has been the shorter days, time with CAP, the holidays. I cannot blame the weather as we have been very dry for most of the time since September. One of the reasons is I’m only checked out in one of the 172’s. I flew the newer 172S once or twice while getting current last summer. It would not be uncommon for me to try and reserve the older 172 for which I was checked out in and find it was booked and yet the newer 172 was free all day. Therefore, no flying for me that day.

So yesterday since I had the day off. I went with a new instructor to get checked out in the 172S. I;m not sure if it was the new model 172, the fact it had been so long since last flying, nerves about sitting with a new instructor. It was likely a combination of all those things and perhaps other external stresses unrelated to flying. We did about an hour of flying. Used the the GPS ad the autopilot. I had mentioned that I wanted to get more comfortable with emergency procedures so we did a simulated engine out. I had two landings and they were both floaters and I landed to the left of the centerline – quite a bit. I was not happy with my flying. The instructor was a good guy and said I did quite well for not having flown for several months.

I need to go up again to complete the checkout in the 172S. I am looking forward to going up again and knocking off the remaining rest. The instructor and I talked about picking some objectives and working on them. Maybe go tot he mountains or closer to busier Class C.

The instructor asked if I was still interested in an instrument ground school. I’m still on the fence about the instrument rating. Yes I want to go to the ground school. I’m not sure if I can make the commitment to go through with the rating. I also wonder if I should go for a “easier” rating such as a commercial. Talking with the instructor about a trip to the mountains or Bay area made me think of another option. My real goal is to have the feeling of proficiency that I had when I got my license. Given that, what if I design my own course. Maybe I call it “Highlights of the private ticket”. Practice the more critical areas of training (inflight emergencies) and some of the more fun aspects (dual and solo cross countries). After my BFR, I was ready to kick the instructor out of the airplane (because I was feeling confident) but knew then were still areas to work on. I did one of the long solo cross-countries after the BFR. I just didn’t achieve the frequency that I knew I needed maintain the proficiency.

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