Accomplishments in Flight
I think that’s why sports are so popular, because you always have something to shoot for. As adults, many of our hobbies take on this characteristic; if you are a runner you might be shooting to PR (personal record) a particular race; a golfer will always seek to lower their handicap; and the fisherman will go for that elusive biggest catch…you get the point.
To be able to attain certain benchmarks makes all the hard work and sacrifice worthwhile, no matter what you are doing. This is just as true in flying as it is in other pursuits, maybe more so. The challenge of obtaining higher and/or more specialized licenses and ratings is something that we should all consider. It really has nothing to do with career aspirations anymore than an amateur golfer who buys pro golf clubs; it’s about raising your current game.
And it doesn’t stop there. Your achievement will elevate your skills and your confidence and it will do something else that might not have thought possible – it will make flying MORE fun! Even if you aren’t exercising those privileges often, or ever, this new level of proficiency will be guaranteed to enhance your current flying – take my word for it!
Unlike the fisherman that bagged that a huge fish, you will actually have a proof of your accomplishments that essentially never goes away and who knows you may need those skills some day. You can even be rewarded in the form of lower insurance premiums depending on your situation.
As a professional pilot, in my organization, I am in a perpetual state of training, which I love. I can’t think of a better way to stay on top of my game than to be under instruction or evaluation on a consistent basis.
The average guy might train for their license and only see an instructor during the biennial, which is ok. Now think of how much better you would be if you were getting a more consistent regiment of training? Hey if you are a J-3 guy and your whole mission is to fly at 500′ and 60 mph to grab that $100 hamburger, more power to you and no frills needed. But there are a large number of guys that are flying some pretty sophisticated machines on some rather complicated missions and those folks could really benefit from an advanced education.
So if you never considered the possibility of adding on an instrument rating, or a commercial certificate, or a taildragger endorsement, or a seaplane rating, etc., you need to give it some thought. It will require some effort and some resources, but that’s part of it – if it was easy everyone would do it, right?
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