Wednesday, April 20, 2011
Early Flight Lessons
As I was looking back through one of my old log books, visions of past flight lessons danced in my head. Yeah, yeah, it sounds like a clip from Christmas; I think it's a good way to describe it. Back in the early 1980s, I have to say the flight training curriculum was pretty superior. I learned to fly at Vee Neal Aviation, a Part 141 flight school through the Cessna training program.
Back then, flight instructors used a syllabus to plan each flight lesson. The CFI and I would sit down, before each flight, and go over what we were going to do that day. Scary thought - today, we're going out to practice engine-out procedures. Gulp!
Early on I would take a lesson once every two weeks and with that amount of time between flight lessons it seemed each flight lesson was like learning all over again. I was fortunate to be able to schedule more frequent flight lessons and progressed more quickly toward my goal of getting a private pilot's license; Frequent lessons got me to the point that I was comfortable with various flight configurations and scenarios and they started to make sense.
We recently had an accident on approach to Arnold Palmer Regional Airport where the instructor made a split decision to get a crippled airplane onto the ground. The result - airplane damaged; no injuries.
I wonder, had he not been current would he have had the presence of mind to make the same decision. Remember, fly often and fly safely.