Has it been a while since you’ve seen the inside of a cock-pit? Your life got busy, the weather has not been cooperating, and there just hasn’t been enough hours in the day. It happens to the best of us! But whether it has been months or years there could be a bit of rust build up on your proficiency and confidence.
You have a choice to make. You can commit to doing something about it, you can continue to hobble along unsafely ignoring your symptoms, or you can quit flying. (With all the time and money invested into learning to fly I hope you’ll rule out the last two.)
So, let’s make a plan! Let’s commit to being SAFE & PROFICIENT pilots. What needs to change? How frequently do you need to fly in order to feel confident and be proficient? Even when you comply with all the currency requirements imposed by the federal aviation regulations, it’s easy to get rusty. Just a few weeks away from the airplane can cause some pilots to go “non-current” even when they are in full compliance with all the regulatory requirements.
The Federal Aviation Regulation 61.56 says that to fly alone you are only required to have a flight review every 24 months. — That is an hour in flight and an hour of ground school every 2 years! If you want to take a passenger FAR 61.57 says your must complete 3 take-offs and 3 landings in the last 90 days in the aircraft you will be using. Using these regulations you can stay legal, but hardly proficient, and surely not safe. We’ve got to go beyond legal to fly safely.
If you are seeing signs of rust, make up your mind today to do something about it! First, make a commitment, budget your time and money, and plan your comeback. Step one in your plan might be to talk with a flight instructor you trust. If you didn’t obtain your license with SaltAir we have a plethora knowledge in our contracted instructors who are ready and willing to help shake off your rust! Second, ask your instructor for an appraisal of your skills. Third, hit the books. Your comeback will probably require more head work than stick and rudder. Knowledge does a lot for confidence. Forth, review physically and mentally pre-flight, weather, take-offs, landings, etc the list can go on and on. These steps are by no means a catch all but a starting point.
Whenever you think you might be getting a little rusty, do something about it! Be hungry to learn, humble enough to ask for help and you can then face any reasonable situation again with the confidence that you have up-to-date knowledge and the ability to employ it. You also will have reacquired the good judgment to stay on the ground when you know you shouldn’t be flying.