Why did I want a check flight?

Dave Boulter

Why did I want a check flight at Lake Keepit Soaring Club recently? A few weeks ago, I was one of the Level 3 staff Instructors training a new crop of Instructors at Lake Keepit SC(LKSC). 

What a beautiful place to fly. The scenery is magnificent. The clubs’ facilities are top rate. That’s the end of the “commercial”, it is a great place really. I started my gliding at Lake Keepit and have been there many times for cross country camps from my club (Southern Cross GC) and to attend competitions. I am familiar with the area and airspace. I remember the runways and circuit directions. So why did I feel the need to ask for a check flight? I had not flown at LKC for a few years. Some things may have changed. It is an opportunity to make sure I was more aware of what may have changed. The check flight and comprehensive ground briefing and a read of the LKSC Operations manual seemed appropriate. I “passed” the check flight. 

That got me thinking about check flights and the concept of “passing”. We all have a natural aversion to failure. I don’t think of check flights as a pass/fail anymore. I view check flights as an opportunity for improvement. The person being checked and the person doing the checking learns something from every flight. If you think you have done a perfect flight, and nothing can be improved then that is a conversation for another time! Accepting and seeking out check flights should be part of your toolkit in becoming a better pilot. 

Instructor Currency at Country Gliding clubs

My home club is located next to the largest city in Australia. There is an endless stream of new pilots entering our doors. We are very fortunate as that allows our instructors to teach a lot of Ab-Initio glider pilots. I am very conscious of the fact that this situation is different in a lot of country clubs. Some clubs are attracting new pilots by offering intensive training courses. Sometimes those courses are run by the same individuals, other instructors may not have the available time to commit.

So how do we improve our country club’s instructor currency? I don’t have all the answers and I am keen to hear from you on ideas. One idea is that some country clubs are short of Instructors. There is opportunity there to talk with a nearby club and do some instructing there. 

I am keen to hear your thoughts and ideas. Please email emo@glidingaustralia.org

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