All posts tagged Proficiency

Not Flying Much? Keep Yourself Proficient

Flight planning

At a wedding last week, I spent some time chatting with my buddy’s father — a private pilot and owner/builder of a beautiful Van’s RV-6A. When I asked him about his plane, he confessed that he hasn’t flown in a very long time.

It’s a common story across the general-aviation sector. Pilot’s aren’t flying as much as they used to. In the Air Facts Journal, John Zimmerman warns that pilots might be losing proficiency. So what can we do about it?

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Don’t Trim the Airplane

Going through private pilot training, I was taught to trim the airplane for all phases of flight. After fighting the controls for one too many flights, the lesson took. Like most students, I was also told to trim the airplane for steep turns. Although trim makes the turn much easier, I suggest that you try steep turns without adjusting the trim wheel. Read more…

My Experiences With Line-Oriented Flight Training

Last April, I dealt with diversions, windshear, flap failures, and Category-II ILS approaches. All of this in just over four hours of flight time! Well, maybe it wasn’t actual flight time, but after a few minutes in a full-motion flight simulator it’s very easy to forget that you are only “playing a game.” You can read my account of airline LOFT training in the CRJ-200 in my post at

Fly the Visual Approach, Backed Up by the ILS

How often do you shoot an instrument approach? Chances are that it is not very often. Most of us have the good sense to stay out of the weather when conditions are marginal. Furthermore, in most parts of the world, the weather is usually conducive to a visual approach. This is good news for VFR pilots, but it can make the instrument rated aviator more than a bit rusty. Read more…

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