Sunday, October 09, 2005


Will It Ever End?

In theory, I should be finished with my flying lessons in a month or two. I have eight lessons to complete: two solo cross-country flights, a dual night lesson, two solo practice-area flights, two daytime dual lessons, and a final stage check. Then I just have to prepare for the checkride. So I should be excitedly awaiting the freedom to fly wherever and whenever I want.

However, my experience with many software development projects leads me to expect the last 10% of any project to take as much time as the first 90%. "Almost finished" often becomes a steady state, as the rate of appearance of last-minute things-to-do outpaces the abilities of the developers to do them. This is when people often burn out and quit, as there is no end in sight, and no matter how hard one works, there is no apparent progress.

I hope flight training doesn't follow the same rules as software projects, but I'm noticing similarities. Due to a combination of work-related conflicts and weather, I really haven't flown much in the past month. My landings and maneuvers are getting shaky, and I'm forgetting little things here and there. The regression leaves me wondering if it's really worth sticking with it. I don't want to get stuck in one of those perpetual "almost finished" states.

Don't worry, I'm not going to quit. I'm just ranting after spending a few hours at the airport today hoping for the skies to miraculously become clear. They didn't. I was supposed to make this flight two weeks ago, but couldn't due to a business trip. Then it was scheduled for last Friday, but was scrubbed due to weather, so it was rescheduled for today, and again we had bad weather. So it is rescheduled yet again, for next Friday. The forecast calls for rain on Friday, so I'm not optimistic, but forecasts often change drastically over a week.

I can be patient. I'm in no hurry to get the license. I hope to be finished before the holiday season, but if it takes another six months, I'll stick with it another six months. I'll just trust that when it's finally over, I'll think it was all worth it.

In the meantime, I'm not going to fret about any lack of progress. When people ask me if I'm finished yet, I'll just have to answer, "Almost."

I know exactly how you feel Kris - I've been answering "Almost" to those same questions for a few months now.
Same here... I estimate that weather and other conflicts.. (being sick, hurt wrist, crashed plane (not me!) etc) added about 3 months and maybe 5-6 flight hours to my training. It was about 6 months between taking the knowledge test and doing the checkride... that hurt.. as I had to go back and 'refresh' on a lot of details. I just got my official plastic card in the mail.. so now I have the proof to carry around with me.. and I'm starting to think about instrument training.
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