Piloting is a work in progress, and often you find yourself doing routine tasks over and over. But, there is a pace of task that has to be recognized in order to get tasks done in a prompt and routine manner.
When standing still, tasks halt.
In flying there is no halt, the tasks keep going because you are not standing still. One of the challenges for new pilots to grasp is the sense of routine and its associated pace. If there is a challenge to flight performance and degraded pace of learning, it’s because students or new student pilots are not developing the sense of expectation and task application.
What and when
While flying, one has to have an appreciation of what it is they want to do with the airplane and when. Your flight instructor is there to show you what and when. Each situation you encounter with the airplane can be managed by the use of Procedure and Technique. But you have to have the Knowledge about these procedures and techniques ahead of time.
K. P. T. Knowledge, Procedure and Technique
You get the knowledge about flying from the textbooks and assigned readings and briefings that you receive from your instructor. If you don’t read and review them, your knowledge is going to be too low.
Procedure is related to what you do. It’s the recipe, use the wrong list of ingredients in the list and the situation gets worse. One of the big reasons that new pilots struggle is that they don’t work in a procedural manner based upon reasonable tasks or reasonable recipes. You learn the procedures or recipes for the various performances that are presented in the Flight Training Manual. These performances are educated by your instructor and your individual assigned readings from your textbooks provided. The learning rate brakes down because students are not reading and or learning the Knowledge and Procedures that are offered by the individual instructor. Instructors need to ensure that in their briefings they are helping students learn the knowledge and procedures that are best suited to the performances at hand. What is not managed well on the ground is Technique, you need an airplane and an instructor to learn technique. K.P.T. However, you can practice knowledge and procedure on the ground by yourself and with your instructor so that you can practice the Procedures and Techniques in the airplane. In the aircraft, if you know your procedures because you practiced them, all you need to experience in the airplane is the “see and do” you already know the what and why.
Anticipation comes when you know what is going to form ahead of you. Flying is about working into an environment anticipation. Procedures work well when the anticipated task is executed at the right time. Flying downwind, for example, you have a pace of things to accomplish in a reasonable time and manner to get the airplane configured for the expected approach.
Expectation should occur because of known situations, we all hate surprises and to eliminate surprises we work flying procedures so as to be able to control the outcomes of how our flying is developing.
Flying and making things up as you go is a weak way of operating. Aircraft flying is best managed by working a plan of procedures. Flying as you go results in lazy aircraft control and procedural tasking that is non existent or late.
Flying the aircraft in a prescribed set of tasks and procedures forms a foundation of aircraft operating that allows for growth and development into more complex flying and aircraft handling. You then have that foundation of procedures and techniques to fall back on as you operate into more challenging flying environments.
Work the procedure use good knowledge and develop your techniques through routine application of these procedural routines. The routine and procedure make good technique and you as a pilot will become more confident, make better choices about what you want to do with the airplane. The improvement in better choices and confidence will make you relax and fly less stressed. Less stressed flying makes for better aircraft control and effectiveness.
Fly the plane or it flies you
Don’t let the airplane fly you and take you into situations that you are not anticipating. Make good procedures and practice them developing your technique. This will stop the plane flying you and make you fly the plane. “Fly The Plane”