WHAT TO DO WITH YOUR PILOT LICENSE
Flying opens up so many opportunities that some new pilots seem
to have difficulty deciding where to fly once they earn their
license. Here are some ideas to get you up:
- Practice a new skill. Even if you are not formally
studying for a new certification, you can practice new
techniques. Ever flown into class B or the holding pattern
around a neighboring airport VOR?
- Touch up some old skills. See how close you can get to
your exact touchdown aim point. Visit a grass strip and
put that soft field training to use. Sharpen
self-evaluation and judgment skills. Upgrade your ability
to judge and fly in four seasons weather.
- Make it a date. Take up your significant other just
before dark and watch the beautiful sunset from the best place
possible. If you are a morning person, the sunrise is just as
spectacular. It is very romantic to see the sun's colors in the
- Incorporate flying with other activities you love. Fly to an
airport with a golf course nearby and play a round. Fly to
a new bike trail. Fly to an out of the way fishing
hole. Take your friends, or make some new ones there.
- Take pictures. An airplane gives so many unique
perspectives and views that it opens up a whole new world for a
camera. With a trimmed airplane, you will have enough time
to get the perfect shot of clouds, mountains, buildings, or
nature. Or, take up a friend or professional photographer
and give them a whole new set of subjects to capture.
- Fly during the fall and see the changing leaves. There is no
better perspective on peak leaves than from the air.
- If you don't have a destination in mind, find a river and
follow it to the mouth or a confluence. Follow the river route
closely and you'll get to make some good turns along the way.
- Take a flying vacation. Your plane is a great way to
get to that perfect vacation spot. Make it a long weekend,
or couple of weeks. Stay flexible and pack light.
Many airports will have hotels on or accessible by their vans
for overnight stays. Some even allow camping.
- Get a good meal. You may know of a great restaurant in
the next state over. Or, just explore new airports with
restaurants on their grounds.
- Find your house from the air. Once you locate it, see just
how big or small it really is. You can also see what kind of
property backs up to yours. You may find that you live near
something that you had no idea was so close.
- Visit a national park. Remember to stay 2K feet above
them, but you can flyover most parks and significant landmarks
with your plane for an unique experience.
- Visit friends and family. There are around 12,000 small
airports in the United States. It is likely that your long
distance friends live near an airport. Once you arrive, impress
them with a flight over their own house or neighborhood.
- Practice with your GPS or other navigation instruments you
don't normally use. Combine GPS with precision flights
like holding patterns and you can really track your performance.
- Get a new certification. Try a tail wheel or high
performance aircraft. Get instruction on a helicopter or
seaplane. Take acrobatic training. Get the instruction you
need, but enjoy the experience even if you don't get a new
endorsement or rating.
- Try a different plane. Test fly a plane you might buy or
join a club that allows you to fly different aircraft.
Take a check ride in a new model.
These are just a few ideas. Be creative and invent new ones if
you like. In fact, please share your ideas and experiences in our
Forum. The only rule is no matter what, have fun!