Friday, May 29
Schedules and Spring Showers
By Brady Lane at 11:30 AM
Flight log to date Hours flown: 22.9 | Days since I started: 227 | Cost: $3,695.80
When I started flight training my goal was to fly 2-3 times a week but, at the very least, once a week. As you can see, my ideal schedule hasn't panned out. This reality is something I've learned many students and instructors battle with while learning to fly—schedules are tough.
Everybody's situation is different. Some people can only fly in the evenings, some only on weekends, others only in the morning. I thought scheduling wouldn't be that big of a problem for me since I live in Oshkosh and work only about a mile away from the runway. I was wrong.
So, here's something I've learned about flight training: be pro-active about scheduling flight lessons. This is still not a guarantee, but it's better than not having a plan.
For instance, this week we had three flight lessons scheduled. Two were cancelled because of winds and rain, the third cancelled due to a schedule conflict with Jason. Jason encouraged me to take advantage of the opportunity to fly with another instructor, so I called Whitney and learned she was about to leave town for a week. Bummer. Jason spends most weekends at his home in Michigan, so flying this weekend isn't an option. Next week, I have an out-of-town business trip and a couple other projects that will likely keep me from flying. Right now it looks like Wednesday is the only day I might be able to fly. I'm crossing my fingers for good weather because then I leave town for a four-day camping trip. Grrrrr. See what I mean.
I've learned life doesn't come to halt when you learn to fly, so you have to make it a priority and take every opportunity you can.
While I've only had a couple true flight lessons this past month, I've had other opportunities to get in the air and I'm sure these experiences have been good for me. I flew in the right seat on two air-to-air photo missions at Sun 'n Fun to help spot traffic. I also rode in the backseat of a Cessna 206 while a missionary pilot flew his annual proficiency check. It was good for me to hear and see what these checkrides are like. I also flew in the front seat of an AirCam (which is an amazing plane by the way). I saw firsthand what it takes to plan and execute a real cross-country trip like this. I realize not everybody gets opportunities like this (I normally don't either), but my point is to always look for ways to stay sharp and continue improving your skills as a pilot.
How do the rest of you handle scheduling flight lessons? Is it hard for everybody? In an ideal world—where work schedules, family schedules, and weather aren't ever an issue—I'd be flying 3 times a week, but life doesn't happen like that. So, those of you who've traveled this road before, do you have any advice?
Speaking of advice, I really appreciate all the comments on the previous post about short and soft field landings. There's some great tips in there and I can't wait to try some of them out.