Mitigating “Off” Days During Flight Training and Beyond


We all have off days. Not days off, but those days where everything just seems to be “off”. Those days where it seems like for some reason we are just always a step behind and cant seem to be as fluid or as crisp with whatever we are practicing. It is going to happen.

But what can be done to make sure at it happens as infrequently as possibly?

Here are my tips for mitigating off days.

1) Prepare

The more prepared you are for your flight, the more comfortable you will be. If you have all the procedures and maneuvers firmly planted in your mind and can visualize your upcoming flight, it is just logical that you are going to perform better.

2) Slow Down and Breathe

This is so important, and yet so easily overlooked. You do not have to do anything fast. You should never be in a hurry. If you are in a hurry, you will miss things.

Lets examine a hypothetical scenario:

You have a flight or a lesson after work, but on the way traffic is extra heavy. Up goes the blood pressure. Then you realize you are going to be later than you realize. Up goes the blood pressure again.

Now you get to the airport and begin your preflight, but you are supposed to take off soon and you got started late, so you rush through your preflight – not being unsafe, still covering everything, but upping that stress level just a tad more again.

By the time you are ready to depart you are beginning your flight stressed out. Now what do you think is going to happen when you get in the air, especially if you encounter another stressful scenario up there? – This is where you find yourself coming in on final white knuckled, soaked in sweat with the muscles in your back clenched to the point of cramping – and you hadn’t even realized you had gotten to that point!

My point is, relax. You never HAVE to be anywhere. And stressing and getting anxious will only hinder you. Breathe. At each step along the way in the above-mentioned scenario, just pause and breathe. Regain focus. Slow down a notch, and continue. If you take those preventative measures it will help. And if for some reason you find yourself in that position, blood pressure through the roof during a maneuver that you have done 100 times before and should be having no problem with, just pause, and breathe.

I remember one time early in my flight training doing touch and goes for the first time at an unfamiliar airport I had gotten to this point. I was flying terribly. Probably some of the worst flying I had done yet. I realized this during one of my numerous go-arounds after a shaky landing attempt, and so on my climb out to re-enter the pattern I simply took a few seconds to pause, take a deep breath, reposition myself comfortably in my seat, and mentally try and slow everything down while I visualize what I need to do next. – It took a grand total of 4 seconds. And would you believe it, my next landing was the best landing I had done yet!

Trust me. If you practice these super simple tips, it will definitely help to make those off days fewer and farther between.

Take a look at some other articles that will help you be more efficient!

How Do I Prep For A Flight?

 

Stay with us for more posts like this. I will be posting again about some more helpful tips that will help you save money while you fly!

 

NSF-dark


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