Flight Training - January 2015 - 40

REMEMBER THIS ADAGE
WHEN FEELING
OVERWHELMED:
HOW DO YOU EAT
AN ELEPHANT?
ONE PIECE AT A TIME.

PROFICIENCY AND CURRENCY. Proficiency and currency hold valuable parallels. Both are essential concepts as a cornerstone to building
and maintaining skills. The FAA addresses proficiency and currency
indirectly through the practical test standards, Part 61 requirements,
flight reviews, and instrument currency requirements, but there's at
least one other source that more clearly defines these terms.
In military training programs, control measures such as currency
are utilized to provide additional safety margins based on exposure
frequency to a particular skill. Its time interval is defined in days
since a pilot last practiced a specific skill. Proficiency is a measure
of specific skill achievement. For example, Part 61 of the federal
aviation regulations states that to carry passengers during the day, a
pilot must have completed three takeoffs and landings in the previous 90 days. If a pilot averages one landing every 30 days, that pilot
is technically current to carry passengers, because he meets the
time requirements-but is the pilot proficient? Currency addresses
the regulatory issue, but proficiency addresses the skill and can only
be assessed by the pilot between flight reviews. An honest selfassessment is essential here.
MASTERING INFORMATION. Succeeding in aviation necessitates
processing large quantities of information. Student pilots can find
the quantity of reference sources overwhelming. The knowledge
requirement only increases as we progress in our flying careers.
Realize that you do not need to memorize every regulation and
system nut and bolt. Know where to locate the information by
becoming familiar with its source documents, and how to navigate
the libraries of knowledge at your fingertips.
Aircraft manuals are a great example. We learn to fly in smaller
aircraft such as a Cessna, Piper, or Robinson. The pilot's operating
handbooks (POH) are maybe 100 to 300 pages. Memorization of the
V-speeds and other limitations is straightforward, and understand40 /

FLIGHTTRAINING.AOPA.ORG

ing the various systems is simple. As pilots
transition to more advanced aircraft, such
as turboptops or Transport category jets,
the POHs grow significantly in size. What
was once a 300-page Skyhawk manual can
morph into a 1,000-page, multi-volume
publication.
Memorizing all of that information
is essentially impossible. And remember, there still are other references you
must know, such as standard operating
procedures, as well as federal aviation
regulations. Remember this adage when
feeling overwhelmed: How do you eat
an elephant? One piece at a time. Being
able to memorize every detail is great, but
few individuals have that skill. Instead,
memorize the essential pieces of information that will help you survive and remain
legal: limits and operating regulations.
Meanwhile, keep your drive to continue
learning. When you don't know an answer,
know where you can locate it, or seek out
someone knowledgeable on the subject.
ESTABLISH A PURPOSE AND SET A GOOD
HABIT PATTERN. "On a mile of highway,

you can drive a mile. On a mile of railway, you can travel a mile. With a mile of
runway, you have the whole world." One
of aviation's most popular quotes sums
up the greatest freedom aviation provides
us: the ability to go just about anywhere.
Keep your focus by treating the flight like
a mission. A mission provides purpose and
planning, and brings awareness. Decide
what your purpose is and plan accordingly.
Don't think that you always need to
make a detailed navigational log, but
at a minimum, take a look at the chart,
plan some checkpoints, and talk to flight
service. How many of us have read a
confession from someone who intended to
enjoy a relaxing VFR flight, only to be told


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Flight Training - January 2015

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Flight Training - January 2015

Contents
Flight Training - January 2015 - Cover1
Flight Training - January 2015 - Cover2
Flight Training - January 2015 - Contents
Flight Training - January 2015 - 2
Flight Training - January 2015 - 3
Flight Training - January 2015 - 4
Flight Training - January 2015 - 5
Flight Training - January 2015 - 6
Flight Training - January 2015 - 7
Flight Training - January 2015 - 8
Flight Training - January 2015 - 9
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Flight Training - January 2015 - 11
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Flight Training - January 2015 - 37
Flight Training - January 2015 - 38
Flight Training - January 2015 - 39
Flight Training - January 2015 - 40
Flight Training - January 2015 - 41
Flight Training - January 2015 - 42
Flight Training - January 2015 - 43
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Flight Training - January 2015 - 45
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Flight Training - January 2015 - 47
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Flight Training - January 2015 - 55
Flight Training - January 2015 - 56
Flight Training - January 2015 - Cover3
Flight Training - January 2015 - Cover4
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