Today looks good

While foggy this morning, the weather looks good for a flight this afternoon. I’m interested in finding out the areas I need to work on and developing a plan to determine how many hours of training I may need. I understand it will take as long as it takes. A flight school near work (they only train commercial pilots) once told me in his experience people who have flown in 10 or 12 years generally require about 10 hours of training.

I got on Flight sim last night (FSX) and flew the pattern a few times. My stick control needs to be calibrated because I was all over the place. I was mainly trying to refresh my scan and memory of the procedure sequence.

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Concerns about getting current

These areas are what I would like to spend extra time on as I become current

  • ┬áNarrow runways
  • Forward slips
  • Staying proficient

As for the narrow runways, I was trained at Wichita’s Mid-continent airport (Class C airspace). Nice wide runways to learn on had its advantages. I probably stayed on the centerline on landings fairly well (it was 12 years ago). Considering it was Kansas and you could almost always count on winds 10 to 15 knots minimum and off your nose 10 to 20 degrees, staying near the centerline was an accomplishment (for me). I belive I landed on a 50 foot wide runway with my instructor once. I remember thinking it was a lot of work and that I should set my personal minimum to something at least 75 feet. Someone told me recently it’s more of a mind game.When you are given a lot of room to play with, you do get sloppy. When you have less to work with, your skills get awakened and people generally do fine.

Practicing forward slips a few thousand feet AGL was no problem. I remember that when I attemted to do forward slips to landing, the sight picture of the ground rising up quickly was something I didn’t spend enough time getting used to. I did plenty of crosswind landings and felt comfortable with side slips. I guess figured the idea was to establish a good glideslope so you wouldn’t need to do the forward slip. If I was high, I usually had lots of runway to take the extra time and distance to bleed off the altitude without the forward slip.

I’ve heard that when you talk about flying, you don’t talk about money. Well, money is a fact of life and requires some consideration. I do not want money to be a factor to remain proficient. Notice I said proficient and not current. I believe proficiency will require more effort and time than staying current. I’d like to fly 3 or 4 times a month to remain proficient. Let’s see, 4 hours a month at how much per hour? Nope, I won’t do the math right now. I’ve done it before to know I can finance getting current and that is the objective now.

As I reengage in flying, I’d like to take a different approach. When I first started flying, I learned enough to meet the requirements and then use the plane to take me places. This time around, I’m looking forward to focusing on the physics of flight and sharpening skills.

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Getting back behind the yoke again after 12 years

I have my private pilots license but have not been current since June 1999. I decided to beome current again last fall. I have been studying over the winter, waiting for the weather to get better. I was supposed to fly this past Wednesday but the weather was not great. This week should be my week.

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