Always learning: a pilot can never learn too much
Learning is defined by Webster as: the process of acquiring modifications in existing knowledge, skills, habits, or tendencies through experience, practice, or exercise.
As pilots we always have to strive to get better and never stop learning. It is impossible to know everything there is to know about flying – no excuses, right?
Everyone is a teacher
In your flying life you will encounter a wide range of pilots. You should endeavor to learn something from every one of them. As a flight instructor, I may have learned more from my students than I did from the folks who taught me. Sometimes I learned ‘what not to do’, but that’s ok, learning still occurred.
Get more ratings
Adding on a rating or getting training in a new aviation discipline is a great way to expand your aviation palate. Go fly a glider, get a helicopter or multi-engine rating, study for your A&P; it really doesn’t matter. Some of the best pilots I have seen have continuously trained. Sure that’s easy for me to say I’m not paying the bill, true but there are lots of other things we can do to keep our mind supple and stay razor-sharp.
Don’t be satisfied with your current level of aeronautical knowledge. One of the best ways to ‘get smart’ doesn’t cost a thing and it’s just a mouse-click away.
Print vs e-books. I love books, maybe I’m just old-fashioned that way, but I am starting to warm up to reading more and more electronically. Go to Amazon, there are hundreds of cheap print and e-books out there to build up your flying library.
Be wary of some content, if you’re reading something from a blog or forum, you should at least do some basic research of your own to check those facts. There’s good information out there, but there are also a lot of internet cowboys that put things on the internet with little or no real knowledge. You should always do your own due diligence.
AOPA Air Safety Foundation
This is a free source of an amazing amount of useful material. They also do live seminars in addition to their on-line productions. I strive to go through at least something on this site once a month. Link here.
The EAA has both video and written content available on their website covering a wide range of sport flying topics (homebuilts, warbirds, ultralights, classics, and LSA). Link here.
Setting an example
If we approach our flying with an student-like attitude, we not only benefit, but we are setting a positive example for those around us. If this rubs off on a at least one other pilot, we have made our community better.
It takes time and energy, but if we do it right we’ll be better pilots and we’ll enjoy the experience that much more.
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