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Saturday, January 3, 2015

New Year: New Goals

Here it is: If we don't challenge ourselves as pilots, our skills ebb, our proficiency flat-lines, or worse, declines. Little used skills get rusty, frustratingly so, potentially to the point of being dangerous. A low-cost solutions is to go back to some of those exercises we had to be proficient at for our Private, Commercial, or Instructor certificates. Download a copy of the Practical Test Standard on the FAA web. If you've forgotten how to perform an activity, grab a copy of the Airplane Flying Handbook, also free on the FAA web. Study it, chair-fly the activity, then saddle up and do it. Still hesitant, find your favorite instructor, or look up another instructor, someone with a fresh view, and "git 'er done."

Here's another option: Add a rating to your existing certificate, e.g., seaplane, instrument. Another route: Pony up and move to the next level: Private Pilot to Commercial, Commercial to ATP. Granted, migrating to a new certificate is not for the faint of pocketbook, and it takes a serious commitment. This is not to dismiss the instrument rating, which also calls for a serious outlay of cash. A Seaplane rating comes in at about $1400 in a Cub, $1700 in a Husky, or $3500 in a Beaver (we sure like the animal names for airplanes...), not to mention your travel and lodging. Expand your horizons, it'll help your everyday flying, give you new perspectives, new experiences, new friends.

Speaking of new friends, Jonathan Derden recently married at the Gordonsville Municipal Airport (GVE), an excellent aviation photographer, snapped this pix of Aero Enterprises' Decathlon.
I thought the spiffy reflection a nice touch. Jonathan's other work can be found on Jetwash Images. Very nice stuff, Johnathan!

Okay fellow pilots, go out there and challenge yourselves! Add a rating, add a certificate, and I'd be remiss if I didn't tout the offerings of Aero Enterprises: tailwheel endorsement, upset recovery, spin training, and my favorite, aerobatics! Have a great New Year, be safe, have fun.