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Staying proficient and Current
Return to whittsflying
New Pilot; ...Upward Transition; Instructor Advice Practicing Precision; An Old Pilot's Survival Kit; ...Is the Pilot 'Good'?; ...Generic Aircraft; ...Desirable Traits of a Pilot; ...Proficiency; ...Paper Requirements of Pilot; ...Carry Passengers; Passenger Information Sheet; ...A Passenger Has No Right; ...More Than Just Staying Airborne; ...Private Pilot's First Flight; ...Frequency Cards; ...Checkout Requirements of a Pilot You as the Instructor; Flying at a Higher Level; What It Takes; ...Flight Review; ...Instrument Proficiency Review; C-172 Checkout; Too Much Can Be as Bad as Too Little; ...Aircraft Proficiency Checkout; ..The Pilot Is Always Training His Skills or Losing Them; ...Giving the Flight Review; ...Review POH for Aircraft Capabilities and Limits; ..Cross-country Procedures; ...Proficiency Retention; ...Loss of Skills; ...Lost Performance Factors; ...Your First Flight Review Landings; ...A Club 6-Month Checkout; ...Ground Instruction Proficiency Review; ...Flight Instruction Proficiency Review; ...Flight Review;...Review Items; ...Engine Shutdown and Parking; ...Legal Requirements of an Aircraft; ...Legal Requirements of a Pilot; ...Legal Flight Rules; ...Flight Review Endorsement; Private Pilot Retention of skills; ...Greatest Skill Loss in Year
New pilots seem to think that on passing the practical test, they are expected to know everything. Not so! However, you can never again use ignorance as an excuse. A pilot must know the numbers for his aircraft performance. Failure to know the numbers and to have them accessible is grounds for an FAA violation.
Hopefully, you have learned to be an assertive pilot in command. Believe in your instruction. Believe that your survival depends on doing the right thing. Be prepared to question ATC if what is suggested seems beyond your capability. You will be able to survive flying if you do as you have been taught. Stay with one airplane type or manufacturer and instructor if at all possible. Make flying a part of your personality. Do not accept weak training tolerances in airspeed, altitudes, heading, or control of yourself even if the instructor is permissive.
Your mastery of basic skills will make all future lessons more enjoyable. As a teacher I was never 'easy' on my students. As a flight instructor I try to set standards as high as the student can tolerate. Just yesterday I had a student make two superb landings in a C-172. She was as pleased as was I. As we taxied in I told her how pleased I was but added that I would have preferred not being four feet to the left of the centerline. A student trained to accept wide tolerances in procedure and performance is doomed forever to being less than his best.
An instructor can usually point out an area that needs improvement no matter how well a pilot performs. Flying without enjoyment and safety makes fear a backseat passenger. Good preflight instruction removes the fearful surprises that lie in wait for every unsuspecting student. The more you enjoy flying the easier it is to become a frequent flyer. Frequent flying reinforces your learning and skills.
Fear lives in a bucket of misunderstanding under a sink. Knowledge and empathy will work together to remove the bucket and spread its contents into the light. Teaching flying imparts not only education but personal confidence as well. A good teacher gives of himself and his love for his field of education.
After becoming certified, the pilot must continue to keep the big flying picture filled with current data. Failure to stay knowledgeable and current is becoming prohibitively dangerous. The exceptional pilot avoids the exceptional situation that might require exceptional piloting. Exceptional piloting is reserved for exceptionally unavoidable situations.
Besides intellectual activity, flying requires that a pilot learn very specific motor skills. Every maneuver has a complex of specific motor skills. These skills are combined to make a maneuver possible. First the student must perceive the changes in sound, pressures and forces. Perceptions that are repeated enable the mind to acquire muscle memories that makes repetitive creation of the skills possible.
The skills required, as in a level turn, are a complex of motor skills that become consistent as to performance and result only through repetition. The ultimate application of a skill-maneuver complex occurs when the student is able to modify performance to a different situation. Modification of a skill-maneuver is a new creation. The student uses consistent skills to achieve a specific result. Only when the pilot can explain in his own words how he does what he does is he on the way to being able to explain, demonstrate and teach what he does.
With our new computer ability to determine consistency of
performance there will be a greater opportunity to escape one
on one instruction and move into automated simulation. Performance
will be evaluated and diagnosed by computer. I do not relish the thought of
such instruction since it will lack the flavor that chocolate gives to life
There are special timing and performance skills that must be re-trained for a new in type pilot to benefit from a higher performance aircraft. Faster comes at a cost but the effective cost can be reduced by efficient use of the performance available. Use your speed for as long as you can. Minimize slow speed operations. Practice your short approaches and long landings. Anticipate and expand your own performance envelope.
A rudimentary transition flight will not provide a low time pilot with sufficient time in type and cockpit orientation to make the transition flight conducive to safety. The instructor must build upon the past experience and background of the pilot. Time in aircraft by the same builder is a plus because cockpit instrument and control layout will be similar. Time in aircraft of the same complexity is, likewise, a positive factor. Skills flying one make of aircraft do not readily transfer to another make.
The mistakes made in transition from type to type or make to make partake of an initial very steep learning curve followed by plateau after plateau. The probability of a stress initiated mistake decreases with increased experience but will always exist. My personal policy has always been to require two flights. The first is to become familiar with the aircraft and the second flight to become capable of flying the aircraft in its slowest controllable envelope. I have done this regardless of pilot background and experience. The second lesson is usually an eye-opener. Most revealing aspect of multiple flights can be the effect of flying at full gross weight on performance and skill requirements.
After the checkout, I urge the pilot to accumulate ten hours of flight time as quickly as possible. The time is to get the pilot through those most dangerous ten-hours of initial transition. Instructor follow-up phone calls are well advised on the chance that unanticipated deficiencies have showed themselves. Follow-up time gives an opportunity to recharge the learning acquired in the transition flights. The required learning may well be restoring to the pilots conscious memory the operational similarities and differences as they exist in the transition. It only takes one regression to an old habit or missed procedure to cause an accident.
Experienced pilots rely on the creation and reinforcement of habit patterns to reinforce their success experiences. Transitions to other aircraft expose these past successful habit patterns as a potential hazard. Timing of what you do as well as the sequencing will cause inexperienced pilots in type to have a higher accident rate. Hence, the ten-hour suggestion for proficiency. Transitioning into more than one new aircraft at a time is a recipe for trouble. Multiple transitions will just multiply the high potential for a transitional accident.
What the airlines call transition training, General aviation calls a checkout. It is unfortunate that all the lesson learned by the airlines and the military in training pilots to fly different aircraft has not carried over into G.A. What is involved is using previous basic skills of flying in one type of aircraft, a trainer, and fitting those skills and habits into a different aircraft.
The transition of habits and skills from one aircraft to another is not as straight forward as it might seem. To some degree it is similar to transferring your driving skills from one car to another of different manufacture, size, and performance. You are going to need to blend existing habits into a new and somewhat different sequence. You are going to need to learn the sounds, the controls and aircraft sensitivity. Some planes are quicker than others; not necessarily faster just more sensitive and slicker. How much you anticipate what comes next will require a change in perception, timing. and even personality.
It has always been my objective in transitional training to train my pilots to utilize the best performance capabilities of the aircraft. I cannot accept a pilot who habitually slows a Bonanza to C-172 speeds for airport arrivals. This is a tragic waste of performance capability. The basic proficiency level acquired in a trainer will no longer satisfy the needs of the next level aircraft. Not only do things happen faster, they happen differently. The acceleration time from climb to cruise changes. The number of cockpit adjustments change for each configuration change. You have more things to do and less time to do it in.
When you first see a new aircraft type you have enhanced expectations and apprehensions. Initially, your confidence level will need readjustment. What you know and what you think you know are going to be recycled into a new learning curve. You must enter into a transition with the expectation that the making of mistakes will occur Initially, you will make mistakes but with frequency of practice your ability to anticipate will improve and eliminate them. How well you perform IS related to your basic training and the skills acquired.
The pilot who's basic training included the entire gamut from throttle control, taxi skill, yoke finger touch, radio use, situational awareness, and care of the aircraft is going to transition sooner and better. All of these factors will need further refinement and development to best fit into the requirements of the new aircraft.
How well you fly a new aircraft will depend upon your existing level of training and skill, your level of information retention and how well you reactivate prior instruction. Under stress every pilot can be expected to revert back to first learned techniques. Ideally, there will be sufficient similarity between what you are doing and are expected to do that there will be no conflict of old habits and new training. One should complement the other. Otherwise, considerable unlearning and relearning conflict will exist. The best course, although not always the most practical, is to make a clean break from the old to the new. This will minimize any reversion back to old habits. Experience is not always an advantage.
The first ten hours in type are the most hazardous. It has always been my desire to have my pilots get those first ten hours as quickly and possible. Good checkout/transitional training will expose the trainee to a full gamut of airports, winds, and terrain. The rudimentary 'one flight checkout' will not suffice in today's complex aviation environment. Poor checkouts cause aircraft damage and potentially accidents. Instructors should be accountable for those they 'checkout'.
What flight maneuvers do you all do with somebody when checking them out in an airplane... same stuff as BFR?
I prefer to take pilots on two flights when checking them out in a new aircraft. Once with just pilot and instructor and the second one with a full load. Some aircraft fly so differently that they are like two different airplanes Pipers especially. Run weight and balance both times.
The year of the airplane can make a great difference as well. Read about Pipers and Cessnas of different years. Learn as much as you can about how the same model can be different. Size of elevators, flap extensions, airspeeds. Manual differences. Just because you can fly one C-150 doesn't mean that they are all alike. There is an 18 mph difference in the Vso of C-150 models.
Anybody got a good BFR lesson plan?
Begin by going over the FAR changes in past two years. Then go to the charts and cover the changes there. Special emphasis on how to use and avoid airspaces. Run through the POH and ask questions. Do a W & B.
Prior to meeting have pilot prepare flight to least familiar nearby airport. Set up radar contact to get there. Have pilot prepare minimum radio use flight and maximum radio use flight.
Under the hood, have pilot close eyes at some point. Reach over and make major change in heading indicator. When hood comes off have pilot fly to an unfamiliar VOR. Very interesting disorientation lesson if pilot does not reset HI.
Run through a simulated SVFR arrival with you acting as ATC. Have pilot take off headset and make NORDO controlled airport arrival. (Just advise ATC that you will be monitoring frequency) Don't make it easy for ATC by telling them where you are.
1. Fly within 20 feet
2. Fly within 1/2 mile
3. Heading within 5 degrees
Old Pilots Survival Kit
1. You and the Lemoore Naval Air Station. Has to do with getting local NOTAMS during air show season
2. Made a low approach lately? Don't make low pass at uncontrolled airports FAA may be watching.
3. Acknowledging an ATC 'point-out' may be the wrong thing to do. You are then forever responsible for avoidance Just say "looking".
4. Leaving the mixture lean during runup and unintended consequences. May be no mag drop if aggressively leaned.
5. Modesto Flight Watch dead-spot doesn't exist at 135.7. Find out the high altitude Flight Watch frequency for your area
6. Left is best for clearing turns. Following traffic will be passing to your right.
7. Talking beyond ATC Give altitude when talking to ATC since it warns other aircraft.
8. Altitude avoidance Fly at 2300, 2800, etc. Avoid 3000, 2500, etc.
9. Popular checkpoint avoidance Report one north (south, east, west) instead of over flying
10. Checkpoint selection are too large, rivers too long
11. Surviving loss of ALL gyros and compass Use the course/track numbers of the GPS to keep wings level
12. Safer CCR departures with mini-flight plan. Never straight out, downwind, etc. Always on course (airport).
13. Advection fog escape plan Know the highest airport in the area.
14. Radiation fog escape plan Descents can be made from overhead.
15. GCA exists Navy still has this oral ILS available during emergencies.
16. Radar Surveillance Approach Ask for one from nearest Air Force facility.
17. Call 689-2077 at CCR This is local AWOS number. By phoning you can get density altitude.
18. AWOS via FSS FSS will phone long distance to get you AWOS info before arrival.
19. NORDO procedures At towered field use non-tower arrival procedure. Watch for lights.
20. NORDO practice Take off student's headset and have him make NORDO arrival. while you monitor.
21. Changing into a survival mode Be willing to change radio procedures and flying techniques for safety.
22. http://www.whittsflying Four million words on the way
23. Radio exercise By prior arrangement have tower give you all that can happen in the pattern.
24. Rio Vista over flights Know where and at what altitude to expect military aircraft. at 2000'
25. Six ways to Vegas Two IFR routes at altitude. Four low level.
26. IFR Bay Tour Not as inefficient as you might think.
27. Clearing the approach course and base Turn your airplane when holding short of runways or taking off.
28. Is saving your life once enough?
the Pilot 'Good'?
While the basics of flying are the same as from "Stick and Rudder" days, aircraft have changed. Flaps are an integral part of the landing procedure. Slips have been relegated to a minor or at best infrequent role. A marginally adequate rudder inadequately used has replaced the massive rudder of yore. Control forces are often light enough so as not to require trim. Moderate misuse of the controls goes unnoticed. The nose high, three point landing attitude is a rarity.
Before you have reached the runup area an examiner can tell your chances of passing a flight test. The skilled pilot operates with finesse. Changes and corrections are smooth with velvet fingers. Use of brakes and power are equally gentle and in expectation not in reaction. Any use of controls contrary to the foregoing is the instructor's fault. Being rough with controls can compound the effects of turbulence. Three bumps where one would be sufficient. It often surprises a student to find that a light non-reactive touch seems to stop the bumps.
A pilot is more than a skillful 'driver'. A pilot exercises considered judgment developed from a planned series instructional mistakes of non-fatal result. The instructor expanding the experience opportunities can overcome weakness in judgment. Weakness in a pilot's sense of responsibility tends to be a character trait that exists in both automotive and aircraft accidents. Can responsibility be instilled? I'm still trying to find out.
Every flight begins, continues, and ends with a range of requirements, which are coped with in varying degrees by the capabilities of the pilot. All too often when I ask a student about how his flight went he is very pleased and self complementary. All too often, I have been airborne at the same time and have been made aware of deficiencies and problems by what I have seen and heard. I have even had these same pilots indicate to me that they never make mistakes or have problems until I get in the plane.
If for any reason you, the pilot, have a reason to believe that the flight may not go well, cancel. You can't face an in flight emergency if you don't depart. Don't let yourself be hurried. Allow plenty of 'delay' time in your flying. Most importantly, don't fly if you are not 100%. Patience is a quality and virtue of every 'good' pilot.
The 'good' pilot has a highly developed sense of what is 'right' when flying. All aspects of a given situation are being scanned by the senses so that anticipation is preceding events. Once a given anticipation is used another replaces it. The smoothness of a given flight maneuver is caused by anticipation not by reaction. Good piloting is more a matter of what you do with what you know than with just 'knowing'. Being smooth means that your adjustments are almost imperceptible be they of power, trim or control.
The smoothness of a 'good' pilot is often thought to be intuitive. Rather it is a matter of being organized. There is a plan for each maneuver and every situation. It may be a written checklist or mental but it allows the pilot to proceed methodically with prior knowledge of what comes next. Even when what is supposed to come next doesn't arrive or happen there is an appropriate fork in the organization to accommodate the problem just as though it was expected. There is an appropriate, no compromise with safety, decision for every situation. The greatest challenge of the student pilot, or for that matter any pilot, is learning to be the pilot in command. The ultimate end of all flight instruction is to create a pilot in command. You make decisions upon decisions upon decisions in every flight. The wrong decisions require corrective decisions. Right decisions are followed by right decisions. The pilot in command takes charge of the situation and accepts responsibility for the outcome. More than just learning to fly is your goal of becoming the pilot in command. You are assertive on the radio, smooth on the controls, and anticipate what's coming
Self-evaluation is very problematic because it requires setting criteria for both judgment and flying. Judgment is the difficult element. One way to evaluate is to have another uninvolved pilot to set up problems to challenge both judgment and flying. Flying tolerances can be set for altitude, headings, needles, smoothness and airspeed. Judgment begins with an estimate of 'attitude' of the pilot and his use of checklists, division of attention, knowledge of local checkpoints and terrain altitudes. Aircraft knowledge is an essential all the numbers related to size, performance, speeds, engine operation, weight, balance and minimums performance numbers at lower weights.
A good pilot never flies to a place his brain has not arrived to previously. The proficient pilot should accept the safety requirement of using a 5% safety margin for all performance for every month out of practice. If such a margin is not allowed it is just possible that the ego is writing checks on an account with insufficient funds. Even the less than proficient pilot must demonstrate a judgment level consistent with his safe application of flying skills. Cancellation or diversion is always the option available to the pilot and more likely to be chosen by the pilot with good judgment regardless of flying skills.
Every pilot can expect to be disappointed by unexpected occurrences or situations. A good pilot is not opposed to putting himself into a hazardous situation. Every takeoff, landing or IMC flight constitutes such a situation. Flying has inherent risks that must be faced to justify the utility standards of knowing not to fly. Assessing the risks of flying and deciding whether to accept or refuse such risks is called risk management.
The imagination of the inexperienced pilot greatly magnifies apparent dangers. Risks of night flying are no greater for flying at night as in daylight, except that your choices when things go wrong are much more limited. The experienced pilot has climbed a mountain of many risk plateaus. Once attained the next risk plateau beckons. The hazards of the past insulate our concerns so we accept the risk. Our past success experience has given us confidence to take this new step.
From the C-150 through high performance aircraft a landing according to plan can only be achieved after the execution of a precise series of steps. Each plane carries it own flying visual reference points. Once you learn to see and apply the 'point' to a C-150 you have the basics for transferal of reading and application of the 'point' to higher performance planes. You are not learning just to land a C-150. Differing amounts of flaps will vary the visual point. Fewer degrees of flaps will flatten the approach and make judgment more difficult. Holding the nose wheel off the runway will be easier. The best parallel to this is the way we transfer our driving skills from car, to van, to truck.
Know operational procedures as they apply to the aircraft. If you are new to the aircraft, spend enough cockpit time before beginning to become familiar with the POH and all the knobs and switches. Direction and method of movement is just as important as location. Make the operating procedures into a checklist that includes those of the POH adapted to those you usually use. You will be behind the operation of the aircraft if your checklist does not include the information you need to know how to make the airplane do what you want it to do, when you should be doing it.
All the landing and takeoff numbers are based on gross weights, the pilot should know the percentage that his operating weight may be below that gross weight. An aircraft lighter than gross weight will 'float' or land fast when the approach speed is that book speed. The minimum approach speed of your aircraft should be referenced to the 1.4 Vso in the pattern and 1.3 Vso over the threshold. It is usual for these speeds to be based on the actual weight of the aircraft as Vref. If the aircraft is below gross then the stabilized approach speed and stall speed will be slower than the 'book'. Any excess speed will eat up useable runway. 90% of landing accidents are due to excess speed.
Dealing with performance limitations has always been crucial in the art of landing and takeoff. Limitations are determined by the POH at the time of aircraft certification. Aircraft weight, speed, Vso-(Minimum safe operating speed), and placards set these limitations. Airport conditions such as wind direction and velocity, surface conditions, approach corridor, surface conditions, and traffic set other limitations. The last set of limitations are determined by the pilot. Skill in power changes, attitude control (flaps), trim, coordination, speed control, pattern size, and runway alignment set these limitations.
Traits of a Pilot
--Acceptance that mistakes will happen and can be safely corrected. Able to take criticism is a necessary part of the learning process.
--Accepts the existence of past, present, and future mistakes and trains to handle difficult situations and increase ability to cope.
--Develop and maintain awareness that mistakes and problems are just waiting to happen. Treat them as learning opportunities.
--Immediate detection of mistakes, first their own, secondly crew members, then of others.
--Make the correction smoothly, uneventfully, with a minimum of effort. The proficient pilot won't let others notice either before or after.
--Advise others in the cockpit of the error and others outside the cockpit when appropriate.
--Has the strength of character required to say "NO" when conditions are marginal. Sees own weaknesses that require instruction and practice. Will learn from mistakes and seeks variety of experience.
--Has the strength of character required in guiding others in saying, "NO".
--Has the ability to make the quick, accurate judgmental decisions required for safe flying. Like go-around, 180, request vectors, etc.
As a new pilot you will react to a situation much differently
than does an old pilot who has already anticipated the situation.
The old pilot has no problem admitting deficiencies of skill
or knowledge. He will duck under an overcast before getting caught
on top. He will stay upwind of a moving storm and give twenty-mile
clearance to a thunder cell. Any pilot regardless of flight time
who lets ego jeopardize safety is heading toward an accident.
You are not supposed to know everything and you never will. The
more skeptical you are about yourself, your sources of information,
the system, and your equipment the better. Become a knowledge
seeker. Your end desire should be to become an old pilot. Life
and flying are much the same; gather all the data you can, select
the truth as revealed by the data; select from the available
options; lastly, get lucky. Accidents usually follow a situation
where the pilot waited too long to make a decision; where the
pilot failed to know or find other options; and, where the pilot,
had he known but where and how to seek help, would have found
Evaluate your go/no-go decisions on whether you see any merit in positioning yourself where you are playing the odds of luck. Is the reliance on luck really worth it? The no-go option is always a viable option and should be part of your pre-flight trip planning. Make arrangements ahead of time on the probability that after a three day trip you may not be able to return as planned. The trip out may have been fine; the trip back is not necessary NOW. The limiting criteria are ceilings and visibility. If one of the other is a safety hazard the no-go decision reigns supreme.
VFR flight has suddenly become a stressful way to fly. The wrong decision can be the leading cause for an accident. Being an experienced pilot is not an advantage. Experienced pilots just begin by getting deeper into trouble than the inexperienced. The best analysis of whether to make a flight can best be answered by three questions.
1. Is this flight really necessary.
2. What happens if we don't go and for how long will it be significant.
3. Flexibility in making your judgment decisions is essential.
With pilot error causing at least 70% and perhaps as many as 80% of aircraft accidents, it is up to the pilot community to correct in training and post-training flight those pilots whose judgment is lacking. Some pilots are prone to making very bad flying decisions.
Re-treading a pilot who has flown before requires the renewal of a multiplicity of proficiency skills. Some skills are more likely to deteriorate than others. Emergency instrument skills fall the most. It is possible to make an instantaneous improvement in you flying just by carrying with you an attitude of openness and acceptance that you will need some refreshment of your skills.
The crux of a successful flying career is the use of good judgment. The pilot's omnipresent prerogative is to make selective safe decisions. There are, to my way of thinking, two classes of safe decisions, the first class is in the foreseen future as revealed in preflight planning, preflight, pilot proficiency and aircraft performance. The second class of safe decisions lies with the unforeseen events related to weather, aircraft performance, and pilot capability.
Ideally, every instructor pilot in the past will have exposed his students to the wealth of experience he has acquired along with the accompanying judgmental sequences. However, this is not an ideal world nor does the economics of flight instruction provide the opportunity to adequately cover both classes of 'safe decisions' mentioned previously. Textbooks, videos, ground instruction and flight instruction are primarily directed to the foreseeable needs of the student pilot.
Unfortunately, the unforeseeable class of experience constitutes a vast area of judgmental opportunities for which there is only limited simulated exposure for the general aviation student. What I see as a critical need in aviation training is directly related to the way the FAA and NTSB second-guesses all of the judgment decisions leading to every accident investigated. I read about hundreds of aircraft accidents every year, only a few have fully developed sequential analysis of decisions leading to the accident. The second-guessing should include how variations of the decision making process could have changed the results.
What is needed is a programmed curriculum such as is available in the airline simulators for general aviation pilots. With the latest interactive video and computer technology I see the judgment situation capable of radical improvement necessary. Perhaps, actual flight videos could be made with a network of scenarios to describe how an accident chain grows, how it can acquire branches leading to different results or broken entirely. I can see the potential development be one of multiple screens hydra-heading into other screens where interactive decision making results in multiple decision-making possibilities and unexpected consequences. The greatest single in improvement in flight safety is possible if we can only find a radical way to improve decision-making.
--Recurrent pilot training and seminars can influence Flight
safety and decision making.
--We should find a better way to interactively share flight experience.
--Pilots need to find way to share experiences by flying together.
--Pilots should broaden their experiences by flying to new places at different times.
--Pilots should have a continuous reading and learning program.
--Aircraft checkouts should be comprehensive rather than 'sweetheart' rides.
--Learning the right-way the first time should be the only way.
--Unlearning is the most expensive and dangerous way to improve flying.
There is no question that all pilots, organizations, and government agencies need to work on improving decision-making judgment as a critical adjunct to flight safety. We need to utilize newer resources and technology since the human factor has neared its limits of traditional training, proficiency and experience. The economic limits of time, effort and practice constrain traditional methods.
Failures of equipment, knowledge or skill will happen at the worst possible moment. Participation in a proficiency program on a regular basis puts you into an accident prevention program of proven success. The avoidance of all mistakes is impossible. There are good things to be learned from mistakes if we will only think back and turn it into a learning experience.
Flying is much like other fields, you learn more and more about less and less until you finally know absolutely everything about nothing. The more you know the less certain you become about what you know and realize you don't know anything about what you don't know. Sounds confusing and it is. Flying is a continuous learning process. The mental processes required for flying dominates the physical by a wide margin. Even the four basics are 95% mental and only 5% performance. As you learn new ways and things to do many of your old mental and physical skills will slowly disappear. You must keep a planned renewal program or it will be too late.
Only by flying at frequent intervals (once a week) can proficiency be maintained. Proficiency begins by studying about flying. You must mentally prepare every flight. Don't wait until you climb into the cockpit to think about what you are going to do. Plan ahead. Every flight has potential emergencies. You must pre-prepare for them You need, in addition to the emergency checklist, a "what if" program for every flight situation from takeoff to touchdown. Get your priorities in a line ahead of time. The further you get away from flying with a more proficient pilot or instructor the more likely you are to be exposed to and develop bad habits. The worst thing that can happen in the development of bad habits is to 'get away' with a bad-habit mistake. Unlearning a bad habit is the most difficult learning and instructional problem you will ever face. When you fly by yourself you are the instructor and the student at the same time. Don't fly into a situation where the instructor side of your flight doesn't properly think through what the student side of you should know and do.
Deficiencies are difficult to miss. ATC steps in and covers a slip on your part. A recent example of this is when a new pilot neglected to give his full identification during a radar handoff. ATC responded with his full call sign. The pilot completely missed the significance of the subtle correction until I pointed it out. You aren't where you say your are and should be. You are late in staying clear from a certain airspace. The answer is simple. Ask someone for advice, look up the information and think it through before flying the next time. When things are performed correctly the first time the next correct performance and all after become easier and easier. Now comes the big BUT, when you know you don't know don't hesitate to let those who need to know that you are ready for help.
Good habits seem to be harder to develop than bad habits. Just why, I don't know but it seems to be the nature of things. You should be using every flight to make every maneuver smoother, more accurate and better every time. What you do must be adapted not only to your own flying program and skills but also to the aircraft and time in type. The real problem is that the pilot forgets or ignores once learned skills and develops a false sense of pilot proficiency.
A pilot needs to fly at least once a week to keep skills and judgment honed. There are continual changes both local and national that must be constantly adapted to your flying. Meeting the basic legal requirements is not the same as being current and proficient.
Re-treading a pilot who has flown before requires the renewal of a multiplicity of proficiency skills. Some skills are more likely to deteriorate than others. Emergency instrument skills fall the most. It is possible to make an instantaneous improvement in you flying just by carrying with you an attitude of openness and acceptance that you will need some refreshment of your skills.
Moving on to a higher performance aircraft requires that you have sufficient basic experience to recognize that increased complexity and speed will require a corresponding ability to plan and think further ahead of the aircraft. Get the best most experienced instructor you can and don't go out on your own until you know all you can know about the aircraft. You can't configure an aircraft without seeing ahead just where and when any changes are required.
A pilot new to a complex, high performance aircraft is a pilot most likely to be overloaded when things go wrong. Just by positioning the hand to conform to the orientation of a switch a pilot can improve his chances of confirming that the proper switch will be used. Every cockpit panel has the potential for some misuse of controls. A complex aircraft has a multiplicity of way things can go wrong.
The pace that you use in going from control to control has as much to do with correct selection as does the order or selection. You must be able to do what must be done, in order, and before a real or mental deadline poised by what comes next.
You know you are not proficient when
--someone remarks that you are not flying well
--you become disoriented during a procedure
--you do not hold heading or altitude when looking for a charted intersection
--you have not recently practiced partial panel
--you prefer vectors to own nav
Proficiency will improve if
--You recognize how perishable instrument skills are
--fly one hour a month of partial panel
--keep a log record of your airwork and partial panel practice
requirements of pilot
1. Pilots certificate
2. Current medical
3. Radio license if out of U.S.
4. Currency Items:
Private pilot can carry passengers provided he receives no compensation for hire nor can the passengers by carried for compensation or hire by the airplane. Giving flight instruction in the course of the flight is a marginal operation unless done legitimately. Commercial and ATP cannot be PIC unless it is a Part 135 operation. Passengers can assist by reading maps, using the radio, looking for aircraft and assisting with light maintenance.
Day- 90 days - three landings
2. Night 90 days - three landings to full stop
3. When carrying passengers:
4. Have a seat belt for everyone.
5. Show everyone how to use the seat belt and doors.
6. Explain survival aspects of ELT, radio, and flight plan
7. Describe effects of turbulence, crosswind landings.
8. File a flight plan.
9. Passengers have a right to know:
10. That you are licensed, rated, and current for the flight.
11. That the aircraft is within weight and balance limits.
12. That certain aspects of the flight may be dangerous.
13. That they can opt out.
Welcome aboard Whitt Airlines flight 0001 departing Buchannan Field and, with any luck at all, planning to overfly the area and perhaps visit a nearby airport. Please make sure your seatbelt is on and that your seat is securely fastened to the fuselage. At this time, any personal items should be stowed securely in the trunk of your car, since there is no overhead compartment or space beneath your seat, to speak of. Please turn off all portable electronic devices, and keep them off until we have landed safely, or for the duration of the flight, whichever comes first.
Smoking is not permitted inside the cabin; smoking outside the cabin should be reported to the captain immediately. There is no beverage service during the flight, however, heavy drinking prior to takeoff is encouraged. In-flight entertainment will consist of watching the pilots desperate struggle to control the plane.
Well be flying at an altitude of 2700 feet today, in theory; should the planes altitude drop precipitously, please check to ensure that the pilot is awake and in an upright position. Lavatories are located at either end of the flight. As we prepare for takeoff, please take this opportunity to locate the exit nearest you and, if you have any sense at all, avail yourself of it before its too late. In a moment, the pilot will begin handing out the release forms in preparation for takeoff. Be assured that in all his time aloft the pilot has never lost a passenger; however, your results may vary. Now sit back, relax, and enjoy your flight. This information brought to you via rec.aviation.student of the newsnet.
passenger Has No Right To:
--Expect the pilot to fly out of weight and balance limits.
--Expect the pilot to fly lower than safety or FARs allow.
--Enter weather that is unsafe or contrary to FARs.
--Take risks that are avoidable.
An informed passenger becomes a coordinated crew member. He/she becomes a participant capable of getting something from behind the pilot, holding, opening, closing, and moving. Every pilot needs a helpful and reliable flight companion.
More Than Just Staying
As a pilot you must be aware that just being capable of keeping the aircraft in the air is not enough. You must be capable of performing when something unusual happens. This would be an occasion where you are distracted to such a degree that any deficiency in proficiency appears obvious. Your ability to deal with a distraction while still performing all the requisites of flying is the true test of skill.
Pilots who rush to get off the ground without adequate preparation are vulnerable to problems leading to accidents. Any time you are rushed in an airplane you should heed the inner voices that warn you. Being in a hurry is as common a factor as ignorance in the failure of pilots to plan a flight. Haste is a road to a major problem.
A note about the relative importance of what you learn. There are certain basics that can never be replaced by technology. The stall warner, engine gauges, and flight instruments are being replaced by electronics and monitors. The feelings, sounds, and sensations related to flying can never are replaced by these and other devices. Your basic perceptions can be deceived by false indicators, stress reactions, and illusions. Your basic skills, kept proficient, will not fail you when most needed; however, technology, can and will fail, often at the most inopportune moment. The first priority is always aircraft control.
As a pilot, you have acquired or will acquire, a very special right, power and privilege. How you use this prerogative determines what kind of pilot you are. Every flight offers us an opportunity to test our skill, knowledge, cockpit management, and judgment, of some other element of flight proficiency. If circumstances do limit the options, gather all available information. Make a considered choice. Good judgment is difficult to learn. It can best be taught by a gradual exposure to ever more challenging circumstances.
Pilot's First Flight
As a new private pilot you have suddenly acquired responsibilities and possibilities that a year ago were merely dreams. Now you can take close friends and family for rides. I would urge you to restrain this initial urge and take up pilot friends or acquaintances who are familiar with flying. Use them as sounding boards to check your competence to fly with the inexperienced. I recommend that all first flights go to another airport that has something of interest to do.
The FARs have a very limited view of passengers. Passengers wear seatbelts. That's it. The pilot is well advised to do considerably more. Staying out of the way during preflight is a basic. Where to step on getting in is another. Opening and shutting the doors are another. A pilot who fails to use his passengers to the maximum is not playing with a full deck.
More advanced input should include how to ventilate the cabin and use the environmental controls of the control panel. Opening the windows should be a very limited pastime. Except for the blind, all passengers should be advised where to look for other aircraft. On the horizon aircraft get bonus points, especially if they are approaching at an angle from behind. You can now let passengers practice their English airplane talk on the radio. No license required. Make sure they get plenty of practice. In an emergency an emergency talker can be handy.
A smart pilot will avoid airsick passengers by recommending that they look out as much as they can as far as they can. Avoid reading or looking inside the airplane. passengers should have a piece of ginger candy before entering the plane. the pilot should have a garbage bag as part of his flight kit. A non-mesh baseball cap will work and tends to be usually handy.
Speaking of emergencies, its a good idea to show them the ELT and mention that there is an ON switch in case the landing is soft. A survival kit might be a good idea. Doors tend to jam when twisted in a crash, Windows can always be kicked out.
After a poor initial flying experience you are very unlikely to get a non-flyer into the airplane again. The way you say things to a flyer should be quite different than to a non-flyer. Have the aircraft ready to go before the passenger arrives. Send them to the bathroom. Carry a plastic barf-bag in your pocket but don't show it. Airsickness can be reduced by keeping the passenger interested and busy looking into the distance. Keep the air vents open. Be efficient and casual during the start and runup. Keep a simple running commentary going as to what and why you are doing what you do. Returning to the airport for landing is a tension period for the passenger. Give simple explanations as to why you communicate, slow down, add flaps, or will land on one wheel in a crosswind.
Always pick a perfect VFR day and make the flight simple and short. Avoid the airport busy hours. Morning flights are best. Stay high. Show your passengers where they are and what they can see at every opportunity. After you gain experience sunset flights are the prettiest. You can avoid any "compensation" problems and make them "sharing" by telling your passengers that you are going on the flight anyway. Any passengers must offer to share the expense without being asked.
As a pilot you should never stop being a student. Your new license is nothing more than a license to learn. There is a great different in the way you accumulate experience. 100 hours of flight time can be 10 x 10 hours or 100 hours. Plan your flights to improve your abilities and knowledge. Personally, I did not cross the Sierras until I have over 300 hours. I made several flights across with instructors before I felt capable of meeting likely situations.
Any time you sense that a flight may be stretching your capability, take along a CFI. Don't hesitate to try different CFI's. You will learn to discriminate differing qualities of instruction. Make each flight hour an improving experience. Flying frequently is more important than a few long flights. Go some different directions to places beyond fifty miles so that you will accumulate cross-country experience. Find someone to share your flight costs and experiences.
As a student or new pilot you are prone to making s slip of judgment or a mistake in judgment. Training accidents are more frequent than pilot accidents but the probability of a fatality is low. Fatal accidents usually occur after the student gets his pilots' license. 25% of pilot accidents occur during the performance of maneuvers deemed illegal or unauthorized.
If you move up to a high-performance aircraft, plan a long trip and need to know the POH data. Of course, in the latter case, you'd best add or subtract 10% for every 10 years old the airplane is. Old planes rarely make the book performance numbers.
It is a good idea for you to make a sequential list of frequency settings from takeoff to landing for every flight. Initially the same one will be used but as flights proceed to other airports and even multiple airports a new sequence card should be used from takeoff to landing. Later on, the Nav side of the radio will be included.
High altitude required above 25000' in pressure chamber
Complex aircraft has retractable gear and constant speed propeller
High performance has OVER 200 horsepower.
A pilot may not reveal weaknesses in aircraft system knowledge during a checkout. That is, it will not be revealed until something goes wrong. The most likely deficiencies or difficulty will occur where the procedures or limitations are different from original training. A typical example might be the difference between Cessna ammeter indications and those of Piper aircraft. Checking out should be and can be fun. It will add a new dimension to your flying experiences and capability.
A checkout that fails to cover those differences as might occur in an emergency is little more than a joyride. Prior to a checkout the pilot must have read the manual. He must have adapted the POH checklist to those that he commonly uses so that the hand made checklist combines the required features as well as the familiar procedures. You must know the systems, the meaning of instrument indications and any flight performance peculiarities.
Many aircraft accidents have occurred when night lighting has not been properly demonstrated. Where a pilot's night flying experience has been limited the instructor should at least offer a night flight. A night arrival into the Bay Area is unlike anything a pilot might experience elsewhere. One thing that can make a significant difference in a pilot's flying is operating in an unfamiliar area. A pilot or instructor should include an area familiarization flight as part of the checkride. The minimum currency requirements should be considered just that, minimum. The instructor should encourage a pilot to go beyond the specifications of the FARs.
The flight checkout should emphasize the slow flight maneuvering capability. Flying slow is where skill and competence is best demonstrated. Additionally, the checkout should require emergency operations, normal and abnormal landing operation, system operation, and the necessity of recurrent training. At some time in our flying we should strive for the perfect maneuver, landing, or cross-country. The new Trimble recording GPS and the associated Flight-Trac software makes it possible for us to record and actually plot just how well we fly.
The pilot who fails to make a gradual transition from trainer to high performance aircraft is going to be weak in many basic experience components. Having the money does not mean you have the qualifications. Stepping up is best made in a series of steps to allow filling in the blank spots of your experience. When you go to a particular step-up aircraft you should fly only with the most knowledgeable instructor you can find. Buy a POH first and read/study it thoroughly and become knowledgeable enough to evaluate an instructor in an interview. Have the instructor evaluate your knowledge and experience and ask for a professional opinion as to your capability and wisdom in planning the move up.
Don't be in a hurry. The first ten hours are the most dangerous and could well be spent as dual time. A failure to understand aircraft systems is a frequent cause of low-time-in-type accidents. a good way to resolve this is to participate in some 100 hour or annual inspections. If you don't have time to learn the aircraft you don't have any business flying it.
The final element of any checkout presumes that the instructor is thoroughly trained and current in the make and model. Additionally, the instructor should understand non-standard or supplemental instruments or capabilities. I personally, have limited time in a C-152. I went to an FBO for a checkout. The instructor had even less time than I did. I wound up exploring the performance parameters for his benefit as well as my own.
as the Instructor
When you begin to fly by yourself, it is very important that you begin to take an instructor's view of each flight. If you don't, there will be a gradual but perceptible decline in your skills and performance. By taking an organized and preferable written plan to each flight you can use the PTS standards to gauge your performance. Your standards of direction, altitude, airspeed, radio usage, anticipation and situational avoidance can come up for review. The expense of learning a skill is partially wasted if the skill is not maintained. You are the most responsible person for your retention of flying skill.
When you don't use your flying skills, you lose them. The brain will help you forget those areas of weakness. The unpleasantness of poorly mastered crosswinds will be repressed into forgetfulness. Those areas in which you are concerned and avoidance prone will get further and further out of awareness. This is where the importance of a plan can force you into the needed situations and review. You will not avoid doing those things in flying where you feel comfortable and competent.
When you begin to fly by yourself you will find that you will confuse similar situations and skill requirements. First to go in this area will be your radio skills. You will lose the timing required to say the right thing at the right time. Your flare will lose its approaching finesse. Firmness of touchdown becomes increasingly more firm. These conceptual weaknesses will interfere one with the other. Confusion reigns when you enter one of the aforementioned areas of discomfort.
It helps to use a written item by item performance list for any weak areas. Organize your review flight. One form of flight organization is making a list of questions about your performance parameters with a specific aircraft. By asking the right questions of yourself you can practice toward the safe proficiency levels in the PTS. There is a saying; "Any road will take you, if you don't know where you're going." You must plan for what you need to know. Keep your plan simple and under an hour of flying.
at a Higher Level
The pilot who knows the 'why' as to the reasons regulations are as they are is more likely to obey them. The pilot who knows the 'why' behind aerodynamic theory in the design of an aircraft and its components is more likely to limit performance inside the design envelope. The pilot who understands the 'whys' of safe flying will accept reasonable limits on his maneuvers. There is a wide range of pilot ability to utilize knowledge and understanding.
A pilot who knows what to do may have difficulty in the actual performance. This problem in performance is most likely to arise when skill applications are in an unfamiliar situation. Spin recovery is an example. The recovery skills are not all transferable. The application of transferable knowledge is the highest skill level for a pilot. Doing this in a unique flying situation is premiere piloting.
A cross-country can be planned to a higher level just be having your alternatives ready before you depart. Where will you go for fuel, to avoid weather, for lunch, to sleep and a kidney stop? The accessibility of places to go in any such cases will make a world of difference to the flight. If existence of instrument conditions are a possibility, do your preparations before leaving. Preference should always be given to precision approaches.
Recently had a former student call regarding a distant flight. The basic questions was just when to fly to the distant place and back home. One of the flights would be at night. My immediate recommendation was to make your arrival at the least familiar place in daylight. You will be much more comfortable coming into your home field at night than a place surrounded by unfamiliar terrain.
The highest level of piloting occurs when decision making is so planned that the choices are instantaneous. Your planning has prepared you to recognize the arrival of a problem and your decision is already in place. The previous student was expecting to need a fuel ad food stop in each direction. I recommended different routes for the day and night trips. Day trips can be into smaller airports but night trips are best made where the facilities are more likely to be both open and available.
In the day trip the shortest route was recommended. The night flight was longer but provided an airport vicinity route. The night route provided airports that were nearby in the foothills should the lower airports become fogged in.
What It Takes
Practice makes perfect...Practice of the right kind makes perfect...Recent practice of the right kind makes perfect... You take your pick; my pick is that recency of practice is the critical element. The further in the past your ability to perform a flying feat, the less likely it is to be well performed. Regardless of past excellence in making landings, the personal benchmark is based on your last one. The consistency of excellence is mandatory.
Certain critical skills must be maintained at a high level. A weakness in any one area can lead to an accident. The pilot who avoids training and practice in a known or suspected weakness is becoming ever more vulnerable. A pilot with a penchant for avoiding given situations is unable to face reality. The reality of flying is that a pilot cannot afford any acceptance of weaknesses.
Weaknesses are most likely to occur as a result of first taught/learned
situations. The relearning/unlearning process is the most difficult
any pilot will face. First comes the recognition. This is most
difficult for the pilot. It may mean that all you have learned
and done in the past was wrong. After recognition, comes acceptance.
This is a huge ego blow. The pilot must go back to square one
to learn. This, with the very real realization that any emergency
response under duress will still be the way the procedure was
first learned. Primacy rules.
In 2003 I had a shock to my ego and confidence from which I will never recover. I failed a Club Checkride and rightly so. On landing I suddenly realized the probable cause. I had failed to adjust the seat properly. The previous pilot had been tall and the seat was at its lowest level. The ultimate blow was to have the examining CFI say that it was not important. It was important. Two days later with the senior Club CFI I flew and passed.
Primacy rules but can be tamed by repetition. The more you run through a procedure the more ingrained it will be come. The more ingrained it becomes the more comfortable you will become in doing it. The less uncertainty a pilot feels the more ready he will be for a success experience.
AC 61-98A Currency and additional qualification requirements for certificated Pilots.
AC 61-98 Record keeping
61.56 requires ground instruction on part 91
AC 61-10A Refresher Courses of Private and Commercial Pilots.
I certify that (Full name) (Certificate #) has satisfactorily completed a flight review of FAR 61.56 (a) on (date)
1. Make a takeoff/landing distance chart covering three different density altitudes.
2. Fly different approaches every month.
3. Take charge of your program.
Just wanted to drop you a quick note and say thanks for having such an easy to navigate and informative web site! Here is my 30-second story on why I like it and how I found you...
Saturday, I went for an insurance check out ride in a brand new Cessna 172SP at FAT. I have 135 hours, and feel I am a safe and efficient pilot. I also have 14 hours in 172s. But this check ride went south fast, and I ended up doing two major things wrong...which resulted in not being approved for the aircraft.
First, when the CFI told me to go to Madera for landings, and since 90% of my hours are in the San Joaquin valley, I assumed the wind was as it always is...290 at either calm to 10. Here in the SJV, every little airport has their "calm wind" rules, 33 in the afternoon, 15 in the morning.
Going in, she was showing me the GPS nav system, and how it couples with the autopilot. I became distracted with the lesson, and then near MAE just assumed left downwind traffic for 30, same as all summer afternoons around here. As I was about to enter the pattern on a 45, she asked if I should be listening to AWOS, and of course I said yes. As I was looking at my chart and tuning the navcom, a CITATION jet (rare for Madera) calls on long right downwind for 12 Madera. Sure enuf, the wind per AWOS was 150 at 5, so 12 was indeed the active. I immediately high tailed it our of the pattern (with the oncoming Citation somewhere off my 12 o'clock), and beat feet out to the west to set up for a 45 entry to right downwind 12 Madera behind the jet.
Landings went OK, but I am a Piper guy, so they were typical stall horn blaring Cessna landings. Then returning to FAT, the main radar was OTS, so basically the field reverts to class delta airspace. It was very, very busy, and I had some guy who would have been roughly six o'clock up high behind me call with a vacuum pump failure and a request for immediate clearance to land, which he got. I am plodding along at 120 kts, and he was flying a turbo Centurion out of 7000, flying straight up my back. So since I was not under radar service, I move my route about a mile to the west to make extra room. This safety maneuver extended my entry into the pattern, which made the ATC guys call and ask if I was really "landing Fresno Air Terminal" or Chandler, which I was now almost on top of. I told then FAT, and they cleared me into a left downwind 29L FAT.
On downwind, they had at least five planes, none on radar
service, on some kind of final for either 29L or R. The CFI was
talking a blue streak, and also the squelch on the intercom was
nearly in-op and was chopping off words with a way to adjust
it. ATC cleared me to land 29L, and I began base and final turn,
with a military C-23 (some kind of small Air Guard cargo ship)
on short final for 29R...and I had him in sight. While the CFI
was explaining something, I didn't hear ATC switch the C-23 to
29L (I was already behind him), so when I lined up for 29L, the
C023 was down and rolling. But he came to a complete stop, and
was in no hurry to exit the runway at about the 2/3 mark (@5000'
mark of a 7000' rwy). CFI swears she heard a go-around call for
me, but either she was talking or I was going deaf, cause I didn't
hear it. When ATC called go-around again, he was serious this
time, and I reached for the throttle.
Here is where things get ugly. I haven't practiced a go-around in 4 years since getting my license. I know how wrong that was now. I pushed in power, but only about 2/3 power, and not used to the notched system on the new Cessna, flipped the flaps switch up once like the old toggle switches, thinking I was "milking" about 20 degrees off. But on the way down on the "toggle", the handle got stuck in the off position, so the flaps were coming up all the way with 2/3 power applied. I was under control and gaining altitude, and the CFI reached over and applied the rest of the power.
I went around, landed well, and was through with a suck trip up. At first I was pissed, but that night realized one thing. This was not a bad check ride, but a great session of emergency procedures dual instruction!
(Did I mention that on my engine out during the check ride,
I forgot to immediately set best glide, and then at 1000' when
she said to go thru the checklist, I forgot every word, so she
told me to use the printed checklist, found somewhere in the
"book" they use in these new Cessnas. Needless to say
I flubbed the emergency engine out landing).
As a CFI, you can appreciate this story, I hope. I changed a negative into a big BIG positive, because this wasn't a case of an over-zealous CFI not issuing me a sign-off, but a vigilant CFI who dug up some serious flaws in my own personal currency training. Instead of ruining my day, maybe she saved my life?????
The next day, I went on the web as I always do and found your very good site. I downloaded info on go-arounds, emergency landings, and then formulated my own strategy for entering a new uncontrolled airport (F-O-R-D= Frequencies, Option to overfly, Runway numbers, Determine active). I have studied them to death, and now know the importance of reoccurring emergency procedures training.Too Much can be as Bad as too Little
Removal and storage of cover
Checking time log/pitot cover and control lock storage
Cargo doors not to be slammed.
Location of POH/weight/ balance and aircraft papers.
Priming without throttle
Prop wash effects behind
Detecting carburetor ice
Power vs brakes
Controls set for wind direction
Facing wind or local requirements
Use of hand brake/foot brakes
Magneto check drop comparison
Clearing fouled plugs
Clearing the bases and final
Confirming power available
First power reduction at 1000'
Allow acceleration before power reduction|
Setting 75%, rpm and leaning
Trim and use of auto pilot (Operation and failure modes)
Heading and altitude control
Coordination of flight
Initial call to ATC and follow-up
Non-tower airport operations (Pattern operations)
Simulated engine failure
3 take offs and landings to include
Short and Soft
Full flap go-around
The Pilot Is Always Training His Skills or Losing Them
–Has confidence in his skills and ability
--Confidence is a ‘blinder’ as to potential shortcomings.
--The constant checks of flying skill, proficiency and health are valuable.
--The less skillful, less proficiency and less healthy a pilot is the more evasive he becomes of the checks.
--The best thing that can happen to a poor pilot is that he only kills himself
--No flight instructor wants to be the LAST one to make a logbook entry.
Regardless of the rating, every pilot is faced with being qualified and current by demonstrating a certain level of knowledge and proficiency. I have given many such demonstrations over the years with nothing dramatic occurring until a couple years ago. I failed a checkride. I passed two days later but the shock to my confidence was irreparable. I had neglected to adjust the seat so I could see properly over the cowling on the first ride.
There is available to you the requirements of the ride. You must meet the currency requirements of the FARs. The ride will be a representative ride in the area covering the radio, flight, and operational procedures typically incurred on such a flight. You should discuss with the examiner the expected minimums of performance. If the ride is based upon FAA requirements of an advanced qualification program (AQP) or a special rulemaking process (SFAR) you should be made aware of the training goals.
Any ground program should be more than just covering the FARs. There are hidden nuances within every FAR. Everything is expressed in terms of minimums that often are determined by other than the pilot. The real world of flying requires that the pilot know not only what the minimums are but also who determines how they are set. One aspect of the program should include a FPT or Flight Procedures Training in the cockpit or mockup. By providing appropriate situations it will be possible to evaluate the procedural standards used for the problem.
For the flight maneuvers there is no pre-discussion or analysis. The pilot is expected to be able to perform. Below standard performance means that training immediately follows until proficiency is achieved. Failure will not occur so long as time is available. All flying should be done the way we train and all training should be directed toward the way we fly.
the Flight Review
--Must include comprehensive coverage of FAR Part 91
--The APES in the zoo
Airplane, Pilot, Environment, Situation
--Aircraft must have dual controls
--Stretch the mind of the reviewee
--How Advisory Circulars are numbered
--Recency of experience
--Instrument proficiency check
for Aircraft Capabilities and Limits
Approved flight maneuvers
Crosswind limits and procedures
Speeds, configuration, flaps
Pattern speed and configuration
Takeoff and climb speeds
Fuel time, consumption
Density Altitude performance
Weight and balance
Navigation by pilotage
As of 1997, Out of 3,000,000 licensed pilots only 600,000 are active. A pilots license never expires; activation requires only a medical and a flight review to become a legal pilot. Competency takes longer.
Your logbook as a student or a retread shows very much about your flying education. What it does not show is how much you can't remember, second, things you never learned and third, things that must be unlearned due to changes. Flying situations have devious and subtle way to punish pilot who demonstrate inattention , incapacity, poor judgment, neglect and stupidity.
It is not flying you forget. Flying is much like roller-skating or bike riding, the basics stay with you forever. What you lose is the timing, the anticipation, and the confidence that can only come with competence. The worst thing that can happen is to 'get away' with incompetence. There is no way of knowing what you don't know. The worst way to know what you don't know is knowing it too late. The Wright brothers knew all there was to know about flying for about twelve seconds in 1906. Since then, what is known for certain is only exceeded by what is not known for certain.
To be a truly competent pilot you must maintain a constant renewal of an unbelievable amount of knowledge. As a pilot you will never stop learning. There can be no recess from this renewal. A month does not go by without a major change in one of the areas of FARs, technology, or training. You lose competence by lacking current information and knowledge. The more you know about the plane you are flying, the better able you will be to fly within its limitations. Consistency in knowing what needs to be known leads to consistent best decisions.
Being proficient means that you have maintained the basic skills that acquired your initial certification. Maintaining proficiency means that you have polished the basics and added to them the anticipation and procedures that can only be acquired through experience. Proficiency requires more than practice. It is practice of the right kind that keeps complacency at bay and prevents the formation of bad habits. It does not take long for practice to lead into bad habits and poor performance. You will not get your money's worth from your flying if self-instruction keeps you from expanding your flying limits.
It is far better to maintain proficiency than to regain it. It is also less expensive. By flying to higher standards than the PTS you will recognize deficiencies. Cut the tolerances by 50%. Avoid the use of navigational aids, practice pilotage at relatively low altitudes. Cover your instruments and fly the compass, power and airspeed. See how well you can maintain altitude with the altimeter covered. Make up problems that will require attention and skill. Improve yourself every time you fly. The more skill specific any recurrent training is, the better for the student.
As a pilot you are a very poor judge of your own capabilities. Pilots tend to overestimate their flying ability in every aspect. The longer the period since last flying, the greater will be the over estimate of ability. The more recent the skill acquisition the more drastic will be the loss of any skill that is not regularly practiced. The greatest skill loss will be where mental anticipation is required for control anticipation. Unpracticed pilots react instead of anticipating.
Challenge your radio procedures. Try a different departure or arrival to your home field. Make a short approach to a soft field landing. Do your landings so the nose-wheel doesn't touch until off the runway. See how low you can fly the length of the runway. Test your go-around performance and reactions to holding altitudes while removing flaps and initiating climb airspeeds. You won't do better if you don't try. Proficiency and flight safety can be improved by flying smarter. Share time with other pilots.
1. Capable of performing maneuvers
2. Applies the proper control inputs in a timely manner
3. Knows when to use maneuvers
4. Aware of aircraft capabilities
5. Knows why to use maneuver
6. Fits maneuver into total situation
Aware of situation
--Weather and terrain
--Why we are airborne
--Planned decision sequence
Loss of Skills
Your ability to retain information is directly related to the 'shock' applied with the information. We remember selectively and retain that knowledge and associated skills according to how we value it for survival. Retention of flight skills requires constant use or they are lost but quite quickly regained. Mental skills combined with flight skills are harder to recover. Purely mental functions are both quickly lost and more difficult to regain. I have long felt that the rusty pilot trying to regain past competency will require 50% of total time. Skills erode from lack of use. How much erosion occurs depends on flight frequency. A pilots estimate of his skill will always be much higher than can be demonstrated. This misplaced confidence is a demonstrated cause of aircraft accidents.
Lost Performance Factors
--Taxiing control position is a mental/control combination that is last learned and easiest forgotten.
--Next greatest loss is skill in combining all factors of a required communication into one unpunctuated sentence. Applied mostly to flight modifications.
--On a flight involving airspace changes and at least two airports the pilot will fail to hear at least one ATC transmission.
--Pilot recognition of need for identifying navigational aids will fail.
--Stall recognition, or more accurately, recognition of conditions leading to stalls.
--applying carburetor heat ranks high on intellectual performance skills lost but may be due to different aircraft requirements.
--Airport arrival at unfamiliar uncontrolled airports was a prime source of intellectual errors.
--Diverted attention--where flying the aircraft ceases to be #1 and relatively unimportant considerations focus the attention.
--Over confidence--that personal ability can make up for lack of training or proficiency.
--Will the capabilities of the aircraft meet the needs of the occasion?
--Lack of familiarity in aircraft--Less than 10 hours in type and an inadequate checkout.
--Lack of experience or currency of that experience--most pilots seldom practice use of the outer performance capabilities of themselves or their aircraft.
--Self-induced pressures--this is usually a get-home-itus situation.
--Pressure induced by others--this is a variation of the above.
My experience as to how skill area loss occurs does not agree
with that of the FAA, but this is probably to be expected.
Areas of Greatest Loss:
FAA Opinion Gene Whitt Opinion
Uncontrolled field operations Radio communications
Short field landings Use of checklists
Ground reference Taxiing
Hood Airspeed control
Minimum Controllable 4-basics
Maximum performance landing/takeoff Cross-wind skills
Normal landing/takeoff Use of ground effect
Unusual attitude recovery Emergencies
Emergency procedures Hood skills
Communications Pattern skills
Pre-takeoff procedures. Use of trim
Earning your license was neither easy nor inexpensive. You will soon lose the skills you paid for in time and money if they are not refreshed about once a week. Every pilot has some skills that are weaker than others. The pilot ego is such that most pilots are in denial of their weaknesses. This seems to be a feature of pilot personalities. Such a pilot will lapse into complacency and fail to challenge a weakness. Self-practice seems to breed bad habits. A bad habit in a maneuver can only develop if the pilot is successful in escaping harmful consequences. The pilot begins to perceive a certain condition as normal and not a problem.
I recently flew in the back seat behind a pilot I taught over 25 years ago. He was beside an instructor I recently taught. I did not wear a headset because I knew I would be unable to keep quiet. The instructor let the pilot to descend 400' below pattern altitude on entry. The pilot was obviously behind the airplane. When turning base and final the pilot kept trying to look around the wing for the airport. With his head both turned and tilted his approach airspeed would vary by 20-30 knots. At some point both the instructor and the student will get a strong wake-up call. This pilot was reluctant to take any proficiency courses because of his deficiency in knowing what he knew he should know.
A pilot must know the rules and procedures of the flying system and of his aircraft. Only good initial and recurrent training with a competent instructor can be an effective deterrent against those 80 % of accidents caused by pilots. Misuse of either system or aircraft will eventually not be forgiven. Making a flight to a nearby airport is going to use the flight time better than doing closed traffic. Don't just go out to fly. Plan your proficiency maintenance just as you would a training lesson. Throw in some slow flight stalls, and navigation. Challenge any reluctance to use the radio. After the flight use it to make notes of what you will do next time. Practice at least one new technique every time you fly. If your last crosswind landing showed a weakness, challenge that weakness by requesting crosswind runways. Set higher standards than just meeting the PTS for your performance. It takes a dedicated pilot who is dedicated to precision performance to keep a high level of flying performance.
Develop your skills to gain personal satisfaction. Set tolerance levels for altitude variations, airspeed control, heading errors, landing accuracy and radio communications. A pilot has not only skill, but also judgment and knowledge. Subscribe to a variety of magazines. You must read two hours of new flying material for every hour of flying, just as you did while training. Consider going for an instrument rating. It will make you a better pilot. You are probably flying an aircraft with more electronics than your former trainer had. Shut things down until you are flying with minimum equipment; no autopilot, dual VORs, GPS, HI, and AI. See how things go. Fly some self-tests related to how long you can fly on heading and on altitude. Once you have established a base work on doubling the time on each flight. You only need to double 1 minute 7 times and you are over an hour. Seven flights will do it.
Once heard said that the pilot stops being good when he stops getting better.
One way to save money is to fly at off-peak hours like early in the morning. You will spend less time being delayed by other aircraft. You might even arrange for lower rental prices then. To maintain proficiency you don't need a fully equipped aircraft. Avionics usually cost about $1.00 per device additional.
If you are short of cross-country experience make all your flights over 50 nautical miles. There is some question as to whether this requirement only applies to student pilots and their pre-private requirements. Where money is the major limiting factor climb in the pattern to clear the airspace and do your airwork for half an hour right over the field. Make your climbs and turns precise as to airspeed and headings. Work on timed turns to altitude 180° while gaining or losing 500'. In level flight make changes in various airspeeds and configuration on a time basis. Do it once and then try to cut the time in half the next time.
You probably have done 360-degree turns for a while at 45-degree banks or even 60-degree banks. Do a couple and then cut the altitude variation in half on the third one. Do a 720-degree turn just to cut your own wake turbulence. Practice landings in the worst weather your proficiency level will allow. You will probably be the only plane in the sky. Make every landing contain at east one unique element be it in configuration, pattern, speed, or power. Expand your capability and explore the outer parameters of aircraft performance.
First Flight Review Landings
1. Do your preflight homework at home. Have your flight kit fully ready with current charts and AFD. Have your POH and review reading the charts, airspeeds, and special procedures. Put in some cockpit time and run a cockpit blindfold check. Based on how this goes, plan to improve where needed.
2. The way you prepare the aircraft and cockpit is going to influence the impression you make on your flight review. You preflight in an orderly manner and put everything you will need so that it will be available when needed. Use a prestart checklist to make sure everything that can be done, is done. Include as many pre-takeoff items as you can such as trim setting and some frequencies.
3. Clear the area visually and aurally before starting. Use your post-start checklist including the break check. Taxi leaned with minimum power. Stay on the center line and be smooth with power and brakes. Listen on the radio to anticipate what is coming or going.
4. Use the radio. Clear the approach course and follow the lines. Be smooth with the power and rudder. Yoke back as power is smoothly applied to get weight off the nose-wheel and let the aircraft fly itself off the runway. Relax a bit of back pressure and let the aircraft accelerate in ground effect to Vy. Set attitude and check trim. Hold heading and exact airspeed. Climb with wings level for best efficiency.
5. Clear your turns and then concentrate on each side of the nose for your 90-degree visual references. Do not look around the turn during the turn. In the pattern, vary your downwind spacing from the runway as required by any crosswind. Vary your base turn and heading according to the wind velocity. Practice some power-off approaches among your power-on approaches.
6. The bad landing is born when you enter downwind. Mistakes accumulate from the down-wind to base to final. There is nothing wrong with initiating a go-around at any point in the pattern. Just fly the pattern in a climb and start over. You will learn more making the go-around that you will by salvaging a poor approach.
7. Learn to read the approach slope. Small changes in airspeed and power can make a big difference way out on final. The steeper the approach the better you will be able to judge your flair point. Plan to touchdown as slow as possible on the mains with the nosewheel held clear of the ground. Continue to hold the nosewheel off as long as yoke/elevator authority allows. Track straight and apply any needed brakes when going straight rather than in a turn.
8. Get clear of the runway before stopping. Run your post-landing check. Bring up flaps, lean the mixture, use the radio, and follow the lines. Use your shutdown checklist.
A Club 6-Month Checkout
Made an interesting flight today. My flying club requires that semi-annual checkrides be given to every member including instructors. Today I gave such a ride to a new member. He has been flying for many years but had a 20 year hiatus until recently. His usual instructor is in charge of the club’s training program.
First of all, he has no problems flying the aircraft. He relies heavily on the GPS for his navigation with very little recognition of common physical features in the area such as water bodies, cities, freeways and checkpoints. What this means is that when another pilot gives a radio call with his location he has no idea of where to look. Knowing where you are is only a part of the situational awareness picture. Being able to say where you are is a critical aspect of radio procedure..
Prior to our flight in a C-182RG I spent just short of two hours discussing information related to the aircraft and the flight. I told him to prepare Oakland the closest airport to Concord, my home field. He had never been there. He had been fed s bill of goods about how busy and dangerous it was to fly into Oakland. I told him that the 600’ pattern on 27L made half as expensive as 1000’ patterns anywhere else.
The club has a print-out that lists every requirement of information about the aircraft and maneuvers to be performed.
We began with the preflight. He did a more than adequate preflight. However, he had never apparently been told or read about the bladder type fuel tanks. Knew about them but was unaware that this aircraft had them. We went over all the POH numbers for all the V’s and power/prop settings.
Next we discussed the flight. beginning with the sectional. His was out of date. We were going into Class C airspace after leaving Concord. Using both airport diagrams I discussed taxi procedures and run-up positions that were both economic and safety related. I never cease to be surprised by the number of pilots who do not clear the base legs as well as the final approach prior to taking the runway. I also explained to him that a request for a downwind, straight-out departure was not as informative to other
pilots as to where he will be. The simple words to be included are "On course (where)".
Since the distance was short I discussed the importance of getting the OAK ATIS as soon as possible. With the hills between we needed over 2000’ quickly along with a frequency change. I briefed him not only what to say, when to say it and what response to expect. He would only buy the SF sectional but not the Area Chart. We used mine. I talked him through the different areas of Class B and Class C and their requirements.
Nothing worked as planned. I found that the pilot when using the radio always prefaced his successive calls and responses with the name of the ATC facility. This was a deeply engrained habit that I could not correct in this flight so I lived with it. When we went directly to OAK we found that the clouds were close to the tops of the hills East of OAK. The ATIS gave a ceiling of 1400’ so I directed him to the lower hills northwest. He made his call to OAK tower (radar was down) and was told to report the Mormon Temple It was now over five miles away and involved flying along the south side of the Oakland hills and over U.C. Berkeley.
Then I realized that he was trying to stay 500’ below all the clouds This relatively high time pilot had told me that he only flew in VFR conditions. He had never experienced flying between clouds and ground before. I quickly explained that anytime we were within 700’ of the ground we did not need to be 500’ below the clouds. He flies well and had no problem doing this for the first time as we proceeded to the Mormon Temple as cleared.
The standard entry to OAK confused him. It is difficult to realize that an OAK downwind entry is not from a 45 angle. Because of the proximity of the Alameda NAS for many years the 45 could not exist safely. Instead a 90-degree entry was required and continues even the NAS has ceased to exist. I directed the pilot to make the radio position report and how to fly the 90-degree downwind entry heading due south and planning a left 90 to downwind.. We were directed to take 27R and then to fly left traffic for 27L. There was a 152 in the pattern so there was plenty of opportunity for slow flight at 600’.
In line with the club checkout rules we made a no flap landing. This was followed by a soft field landing with a stop and go on the runway which was completely new to the pilot, and a full-flap go-around. We were then directed to make right traffic where I told the pilot to ask for a short approach with an on-course departure for Concord. The pilot is not very used to reading back ATC instructions and needs more practice.
We followed the Oakland hills to the west before crossing them north bound and breaking into clear conditions. I showed him how to do the Dutch roll and told him that it was a training exercise for crosswind landings. Another new bit of information for him.
I had him level out at 3700 for some airwork over the hills. I had him slow up and lower the gear in level flight. I asked that he fly as slowly as he could in level flight with no flaps and then to make clearing turns with the stall-horn whimpering before coming back to north and making a power-on stall. We then did the same maneuver with full flaps and a power off stall. All of this went well. I asked why he made his first clearing turn to the left. He said he could have made it to the right as well. I explained that our clearing turns did not really clear behind us. Any aircraft passing us from the rear should be passing to our right, hence, our first clearing turn should be left.
I then had him recover to gear up cruise and asked for a steep turn to the left. Throughout the flight the pilot had kept a full fist grip on the yoke. When he entered the steep turn he made up and down excursions from the very beginning and continued throughout the turn. I asked him to do one to the right. This one was no better he said it was because of the winds over the hills. I told him to go where ever he thought he could do better. We flew a couple miles while climbing to 4500 over the flatlands north of Concord. Here he did the 45-degree steep turns satisfactorily both left and right so maybe it was the winds but more likely the practice.
The only club requirement left was the emergency. We were set up for an 8-mile straight in approach to 19R at Concord. He got the ATIS and made the required call without any difficult. He spiraled down while avoiding parallel runway traffic Prior to our starting the engine I had discussed with him a situation where he was in full-flap configuration on final and at 400 feet his engine quit. What to do. I had told him that removing the flaps immediately while holding the nose up at a constant approach speed would be the best option for reaching the runway.
So at 400’ I had him pull the power. I didn’t work. It might have been because of the relatively strong headwind or he did not hold his airspeed as closely as he should have. Any way, we had to add power to safely make the runway. So much for an emergency.
ATC told us to take the next left which we did. Then she said to cross 19L and to contact ground. Well he immediately reached up and changed the frequency. I had him change it back and told him that he could not, should not, change the frequency to ground even when so instructed by the local (tower) controller until clear of the active runways.
The flight took one hour hobbs time. What did I learn? Here as a pilot who could fly the aircraft quite well. He held altitudes and headings just as required and well above the so-called FAA Minimums. His knowledge had some gaping holes that need filling. He is adamant that he only flies VFR. He is not interested in an IFR rating or knowing how to fly SVFR. And he did not know where the nearest airport at an altitude above the typical fog layer of the Bay Area was. (Angwin) A pilot who flies without a full deck of knowledge is a danger to himself and to others. Legal but relatively unsafe.
He carries a flight bag that must weigh 50 pounds. He has all kinds of references but needs to be in a position to use these references. Were he my student I would work on on his radio skills which date back to his Father’s WWII techniques. His reliance on the GPS is supported
AWOS and ASOS
90 day requirements
Class differences in
Required inspections and maintenance
Weight and balance
Takeoff, cruise, landing
Enhanced POH checklist
Speed and alignment
--Takeoffs and Landings
VFR into IFR
The Flight Review
FROM FAA AC NO: 61-98A 3-26-91LIST OF FLIGHT REVIEW KNOWLEDGE, MANEUVERS AND PROCEDURES
ALL TO BE PERFORMED TO PRACTICAL TEST STANDARDS FOR PILOT CERTIFICATION IN CATEGORY AND CLASS. No negative comments are allowed in a pilot's logbook about a failure to satisfactorily complete a flight review.
Flight review must include minimum of 1-hour ground, 1-hour flight.
FAR 61.56 says that you must have a flight review within the preceding 24 calendar months to act as pilot in command. Commercial aviation is believed to be 10 times safer than general aviation because of the required recurrent pilot training program. 30% of pilots involved in accidents are not current for the type of conditions at than time. The flight review is meant to provide pilot currency and improve awareness of applicable aviation changes. You can't fail a flight review. You have completed the flight review only when an instructor has properly endorsed your logbook.
The flight review is an FAA-monitored program. An instrument competency ride is not a flight review. The flight is not a test or checkride, but a flight to assess a pilot's knowledge and flight skills. The instructor is trying to determine if the pilot measures up to the FAR requirements. The instructor will teach and review as required to establish the needed skills. Discuss with the instructor the type of flying you do so that the flight review will suit your immediate needs as well as an expansion of your flight experience. The flight review is an opportunity for the pilot to improve. It should be practical, challenging and fun. Any recurrent training should include at least one instance of dealing with an abnormal situation. The unusual and unexpected incident may not be available except in a training situation. Consider simulated radio failure, SVFR procedures, DF steer, VOR failure, etc.
1. Use of sectional
2. Not tricks but hypothetical flight in marginal conditions which activate Transition Areas and ATC controlled airspace.
3. How to contact Flight Watch
4. How to contact a radar facility
5. How to contact a UNICOM airport and land.
6. How to contact a multicom airport and land.
7. How to contact a FSS only airport and land.
8. SVFR procedure-typical clearance
9. RCO procedure
10. Give pilot questions for study. Covers Sectional, FARs, Aircraft. Plan sign-off based on knowledge of these as well as flight review. Oral to cover at least 10% of questions.
11. AIM knowledge
12. Questions and answers
13. Radio frequencies
14. Those to be memorized:
15., 122.0, 122.2, 122.75, 122.85, 122.9,
16. Those to be recognized:
17. 123.6, 122.6
1. FAR Part 91 flight rules and changes in last two years (Not part 61.)
2. Check papers-currency requirements.
3. Use flight as opportunity to become current in landings, night flight, and instruments.
4. VFR CCR to Neighboring Airport
5. RETURN TO CCR
6. Knowledge of area and use of radio
7. Pilot certificates and other FAR Part 61 Requirements
9. Documents and records
10. Performance and limitations Loading, weight and balance Systems and operating procedures Abnormal and emergency procedures
11. The difference between legal and safe
12. Flight planning and obtaining weather information
13. Avoidance of hazardous weather
14. Air traffic control and airspace
15. Preflight inspection
16. Ground operations
19. Normal operations
20. Straight and level
21. Ground reference, traffic patterns
22. Climbs, turns and descents
23. Emergency operations
24. Use of:
26. Aircraft systems
28. Control smoothness
29. Radio communication
31. Crosswind takeoffs
34. Maneuvering during slow flight
-- Stall recovery
--Base to final
36. Constant altitude turns
37. Simulated forced landings and other emergencies
38. Flight by reference to instruments
--Unusual attitude recovery
Ground Review of maneuvers and procedures
2. Departure/arrival 3. Taxiing 4. Turns 5. Slow flight 6. Stalls 7. Landings 8. VOR 9. Hood 10. Practical FARs
of an Aircraft:
General 91.7; 91.9
Equipment 91.205; 91.207; 91.215
Minimum equipment 91.213
of a Pilot
90 day currency in landings is only required for the carrying of passengers. Day and night differences are distinctions between touch-and-go and full stop landings.
Three full-stop night landings apply for the day requirement. The landings must be in same category and class.
Legal Flight Rules
Right of way 91.113
Safe altitudes 91.119
Clearance compliance 91.123
Emergency rules 91.139
Basic VFR 91.155
Day VFR equipment
Fuel gauge, airspeed indicator, altimeter, gear indicator, oil pressure, tachometer, manifold, oil temperature, direction/compass
Night VFR add FLAPS
fuses, landing light, anti-collision, position lights, source of electricity
IFR altitudes 91.177
IFR Radio failure 91.185Flight instruction ____________________________________________________________________________
PLAN AND CHECKLIST
Name_____________________ Date ____________ Grade of Certificate ______________ #______________ Ratings and limitations ___________________________ Class of Medical _______________ Date _____________ Total flight time ____________ Time in type _______ Aircraft to be used: Make and model _____N#________ Location of Review: Review of FAR Part 91Ground Instruction: _______________________________________________________________________________________________________ COMPLETION OF REVIEW: Remarks____________________________________________________________Signed______________CFII # Expiration Date__________
I have received a flight review which consisted of the ground
and flight instruction notes above. Signed________________Date_____
Flight Review endorsement
I certify that ___#___- successfully accomplished the flight review required by FAR Section 61.65(b) on (date)
NRI 6 Month Check
Partial list of suggestions
Items to emphasize
1. Aircraft performance and limitations + Density alt.
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 + Max. range
2. Aircraft loading, weight and balance - Load for fwd c.g.
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 - Load for rear c.g.
3. Aircraft system and operating procedures + Brakes
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 + Vacuum
4. Abnormal and emergency procedures - Gear
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 - Radio
5. Aircraft documents and records + Inop. equip.
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 + Club rules
6. Preflight inspection - Checklist
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 - Look for list
7. Use of checklist + For all oper.
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 + Emergency
8. Use of radios and instruments - Com skills
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 - Nav skills
9. Takeoffs and landings
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Normal + Speeds
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Short + Checklists
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Soft + Trim
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Xwind + Power
10. Go-arounds - Sequence
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 - Speed control
11. Maneuvering during slow flight + Smoothness
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 + Clearing
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 w/flaps
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 clean - Speed control
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 clean w/power - Sequence Anticipation
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 dirty w/power - Clearing
13. Constant altitude turns
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 clean full cruise + Clearing
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 clean low cruise + Smooth
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 dirty + Accurate
14. Simulated forced landing - Checklist
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 - Speeds
15. Taxiing + Speed
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 + Controls
16. Engine operation - Oil
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 - Prop EGT
17. Cross country skills + Sectional
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 planning + Computer
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 weather + Safety
Set up the checklist like a score-sheet so that your feeling and the facts can be converted into numerical form. Each numbered item represents an abbreviation of a comprehensive collection of skills.
Private Pilot Retention of
Straight and level
Power on Stall
Power off stall
Simulated engine out
Uncontrolled traffic pattern
Landing non-towered airport
Short field takeoff
Cross wind takeoff
S turns across a road
Turns about a point
Constant rate climb
Magnetic compass turns
Unusual attitude recovery IR
180 IR turn
Controlled airport landing
Greatest Skill Loss in Year
Landing at an uncontrolled airports
Traffic pattern at uncontrolled airport
Short field landing
Constant altitude turn
Magnetic compass turns
Short field takeoff
Landing at a controlled airport
Tracking the VOR
The greatest battle of the experienced pilot will be complacency. At 81 I am past complacency and live in constant fear and concern that my skills are not what they once were. I do know that I no longer have the endurance.
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Continued on 5.82 Checkout and Flight Review