Sunday, March 04, 2007

 

Done with Flying?

It has been two months since my last flight. Unlike some of my unfortunate pilot blogger comrades, my lack of flying hasn't been due to bad weather, health issues, financial situation, or scheduling difficulties. I just don't have any interest in doing it.

My monthly two-hour solo flights around the Atlanta area are no longer interesting. I could do some long cross-country flights, but it seems pointless to me to spend several hundred dollars just to fly to some far-away place, have lunch, and fly back home. I've never been inflicted with wanderlust. The southeast doesn't have any cool terrain to fly over. If I lived within flying distance of the Grand Canyon, the Rockies, coastlines, or other such sights, I'd go exploring, but my area is just filled with flat featureless terrain.

I'm not the first private pilot to discover that, after getting the license, there's not much to do. People have actually written books about ways to keep yourself interested in flying. It seems to me that if you have to work hard to find interesting things to do, the activity must not be very interesting.

Carrying some passengers would make it more interesting, but my friends and family are all either scared of small airplanes, or are too heavy to make the weight-and-balance work out. I've had a couple of volunteers who came up with excuses at the last minute.

During my last flight, I felt a little rusty and overwhelmed. I decided I either needed to start flying a lot more often, or stop flying altogether. It looks like I'm choosing the latter. My last flight was my Last Flight.

This is not necessarily a permanent decision. I understand that it is pretty easy to get back into flying after putting it aside for a while. It's more complicated than riding a bicycle, but apparently one never really forgets how to do it.

And who knows . . . I might change my mind and go flying next weekend.

(Of course, right after I wrote this, I watched an episode of Battlestar Galactica with some really cool Viper-flying scenes. If I see a Star Wars film or Twelve O'Clock High anytime this week, I'll definitely be flying again soon.)


Comments:
When I was checking out rental pilots to make sure they were still safe to rent our airplanes, I often wondered how they managed to keep their skills flying five or ten hours a year.

Many of them get together in groups so that four of them can go on a four hour flight, get much of the benefit of the whole trip, yet pay for one hour. But they seem to be smaller than you and your friends.

I'd think I'd be jealous that you can go flying anytime you like, but I'm not really.

I applaud your honesty. If I wer that honest with myself there would be a lot less of my sports equipment stored in other people's basements.
 
There is an article on a recent Flight Training Magazine for people who lost interest on flying.. It is very normal. There are some more options around there; you mentioned IFR and Helicopter.. there is also acrobatic, tailwheel, complex airplane (retractable gear and constant speed propeller), seaplanes, gliders, check in the AOPA webpage i think the magazine was either November or October 2008. I got interested in your blog since I am preparing for my first solo
 
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