WINGS 'N THINGS
It might be hot in southern Arizona, but it was somewhat cooler in Denver, Colorado. At 90 degrees, the folks in Colorado are complaining! I was enjoying the cooler temperatures. The Mooney Pilots Safety Program (MAPA) invited Fred Gibbs and I to be instructor pilots at the safety program in Denver in June. Both of us have time in Mooney aircraft of various models, and we always enjoy flying with the Mooney pilots that take aviation safety seriously.
Twenty Mooney owners and 10 instructors attended this training session. The sessions usually begin on a Friday with a day of classroom instruction on everything from basics to advanced subjects, tailored for the Mooney owners. Weather and Mooney maintenance were big hits. At this session, there was a Mountain Flying course, and Fred and I sat in on that. Living in Arizona, we are no strangers to mountain flying, but in Colorado with the tall Rockies only a few miles west of the airport, Mountain Flying takes on a new meaning. Two experienced instructors did an excellent job of teaching this very important subject. If you plan to fly over the Rockies at any time, I highly recommend that you take such a course before going. I thought that I knew a lot about mountain flying already, but learned so much more from this course.
The two owners that I flew with did not want to fly the Mountain course that the program had planned, so we stayed to the East and flew all of the requirements there. Some of the owners did want to fly that course, and that was on Saturday and Sunday. Not all were from Colorado. Some from as far away as Virginia, and others from South Dakota, Wyoming, and one from Sierra Vista, AZ. Other owner associations also do this kind of training to keep the owners current and safer. Not only do you meet all of the requirements for a Flight review and IPC, you get WINGS credit as well.
Here are some things to think about - Common Mistakes Pilots Make:
Not getting a weather briefing before every flight
Rushing through a preflight
Doing an incomplete or no run up
Multi-tasking while taxiing
Not using a checklist every time
Handheld GPS users, getting too close to airspace (Class B, or Class C, etc.)
Not having a taxi diagram out while taxiing
Canceling IFR in flight before landing
Over correcting on IFR approaches (chasing the needle)
Not understanding installed technology
Saying too much on the radio (How much is too much?)
If you belong to an association such as the Mooney Pilots, or Beech Pilots, Cessna, Piper, Cirrus or other, get involved with their recurrent training programs. During one of my flights with a Mooney owner, we discussed “The Art of Flying.” I’ll talk more about that another time. If you don’t belong to one of these, but you do belong to the ARIZONA PILOTS ASSOCIATION, then look for the next safety seminar somewhere in the State. And, don’t forget to “bring your wingman.” You will be glad that you did.