Pilot Topics

How to Approach “Transition Training?”

Lesson 5

​So, how do you approach transition training? Well, for openers, it would be wise to assess your flying skills and get in touch with your CFI to discuss this. You might be current on paper, but that does not mean you are proficient. There is a world of difference.

Here are some points for you to ponder. Most pilots, myself included, can always work on improving their instrument scan. Your IFR and VFR procedural knowledge is another area to review. Granted it is not exciting reading, but you really need to review the AIM yearly, and try to keep up with FAR changes, as well.

I would emphasize the sections dealing with GPS navigation and approaches. If you make a habit of flying by the book, then you are in way ahead of the game here, more so than if you don’t fly this way. It is one thing to take time-saving short cuts, and another to ‘cut corners’, by skipping checklists and minimizing time spent in the run-up before takeoff, for example. That might come back to haunt you when you least expect it. Also, your approach to regular, ongoing ‘recurrent training’, just like professional pilots, says a lot about your flying.

It is wise to invest in quality training, and foolish to go cheap with this, especially after you have spent, or rather, invested the money to move up to a larger aircraft. For many pilots, the biggest problem in moving up to a bigger, faster airplane is simply staying ahead of the airplane! Recall the old airline joke about how far behind the airplane the new First Officer is, who is not yet used to the speed of the airliner. In a faster airplane, more speed means that you have to think farther ahead in terms of time, not distance, and how many miles per minute you are traveling.

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