Sometimes it’s hard to find the time to get out to the airport! Until early this morning, when I took my first flight in over a month, this was the problem! With my Junior Year of High School starting in full swing with AP and Honors Classes, it hasn’t always been easy to find time to get out, even on the weekends, for flying.

After talking with one of my instructors from over the summer, Rod Kellogg (I took a lesson with him in Alabama), about my recent flying, or lack thereof, I decided that it was time to make sure I wasn’t loosing my muscle memory from flying.

It’s important that we, as pilots, maintain our muscle memory, and stay current through some regular form of training. I’ve decided to make sure that I fly at least for a short period every week to practice landings and takeoffs, plus every now and then add in a solo cross country flight. In this way, I’m not going to be spending too much money at one point, but will make sure to get more frequent “air time.”

This is exactly what I did this morning. It wasn’t a long flight, but it was nice to get back at the controls again! Because the ceiling was pretty low today, broken clouds around 1,600 feet, I decided to remain in the pattern and practice some crosswind landings and takeoffs. The crosswind was definitely a factor in today’s flight, but it was manageable and made for some good practice. Flying for a total of .6 hours today, I did 4 full-stop landings and takeoffs. Only costing $65, this is the kind of practice I’m hoping to do on a weekly basis. It’ll make me a safer, more current pilot overall.

Plus … I miss being at the controls of this little bird:

In all honesty, for me to go a month without flying wasn’t a good (or safe!) decision on my part. There were opportunities to go flying, and I didn’t. That changes today with my new weekly schedule.

Make sure you guys are getting out there and keeping that muscle memory!

Thanks for reading,
-Swayne Martin
Twitter: @MartinsAviation

About The Author

If you want to become a pilot, I want to make your journey just a little easier. I'm a First Officer for Envoy Air, one of the largest regional airlines in the world, and have partnered with industry leaders like the U.S. Air Force to teach about various aviation careers. For a full bio, click the "About" tab above. Use the "Contact" tab to shoot me a message.

9 Responses

  1. Karlene Petitt

    You are so wise Swayne. That’s the only reason I am holding back from my little plane adventure until I have the time to commit the “consistent” time. This is a good lesson too. You will always remember this. There will be a time in the future after you’re an ace pilot with lots of hours… when you go for months…always take the extra steps to get caught up. So worth it.

    • Swayne Martin

      Thanks so much Karlene! I’m so excited for you to get your new plane, I’ll look forward to reading the posts about all the cool places that you’ll go to!

      There’s something special about GA flying, I find it so cool that you, as an international A330 Pilot, are so excited about flying in your new, single engine!

      Thanks again for the comment,

  2. Rory

    That’s amazing! How can you afford to fly each week? Over here it’s about $260 an hour to fly a DR400 – gliding’s more or less the only option to keep your skill up

    • Swayne Martin

      It’s not always easy. Where I am, it’s about $150 USD per hour to rent a Cessna 172. I’ve saved up money over time and bring in income through my partnership at Boldmethod to afford flying.

      • Rory

        Sounds like you’ve got a good deal going, man. I guess it’s never gonna be a cheap hobby but it’s definitely worthwhile

        Are you looking at a career in commercial aviation then?

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