REFINING THE CRAFT
The question of what we can do personally to be better at our craft is something that I don’t feel we ask often enough.
The fact you are out there in crosswinds without recent experience can also be an Aeronautical Decision-Making (ADM) breakdown
Breakdown in situational awareness (SA) – Not recognizing the stiff crosswind
Not recognizing the airplane is diverging until you have to make the ‘varsity play’ to get it back straight
Complacency – “I’ve landed this airplane hundreds of time before”
Could have led to the lack of SA or ADM
Failure to recognize that more training or practice was needed to be able to handle the situation at hand
Another Example – Pushing a landing that should have been aborted.Potential causes: Complacency – Go-arounds are never executed so they don’t even come to mind
Lack of situational awareness – Failure to recognize you are in a situation where a go-around is the most prudent action
Poor Aeronautical Decision-Making – Knowing you should go around and pushing it anyway
Some of the causes are easy. If we are talking about lack of recent experience, flying more frequently should do the trick. Other causes are more insidious. Take the go-around example above. If the cause came down to ADM, was it our ego that led us into harm’s way? It is something we should certainly look at. Like other endeavors, flying a very cerebral exercise and I don’t think we spend as much time on that part of the equation as we do on the motor skills.
Sometimes the best medicine is to just be honest. Have that tough conversation with yourself – don’t make excuses – but rather determine causes and create actions that mitigate those causes. You are the Pilot-in-Command and you are responsible.
This self-realization can help refine your craft and ultimately make flying that much more rewarding.
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