Thursday, 10 October 2013

Mildly terrified

This probably describes my state of mind at the moment with regards to my upcoming cross country flight.

I mood swing quite rapidly between thinking “it’s just flying in a straight line, WMAP you can certainly do that. Nothing to it.” To “OMG there is so much to think about that I’m bound to miss something, I hope it isn’t anything too critical. Ah hell I’m gonna mess up BIG time, aren’t I?
I thought I had a reasonable handle on this. Bob and I spent an hour or so doing some ground briefing a week or so ago. At his request I had the basic route plotted on my chart and had started thinking about the actual route. Then we would attempt to attack the flight planning sheet together.

I went in with a reasonable degree of optimism. RTH has forced me to do some flight planning for him so I am at least familiar with the sheet-of-my-doom. Bob was already happy that I’d made a sensible choice about our routing. On the first leg I’d chosen a set heading point that was a little further out than you would usually pick but it seemed sensible to me for a number of reasons including: 1) it is outside the controlled airspace around CYTZ 2) it gives you a route on the first leg that means you skim the edge of a largish lake rather than flying over the middle of it and 3) it is a way point that I use on my way to the practice area so I’m almost 100% certain I will be able to ID it just fine.

I managed most of the planning OK, struggled to remember some formulas, recalled other information when needed. Despite having to use my E6b, Bob and I are still on speaking terms; I didn’t feel the urge to launch the damn thing into the air or anything!

So for our next planned flight Bob texted me to confirm we had a booking for Saturday first thing. After a brief back and forward whereby I asked him to clarify “first thing” as I had regularly been in the office for 5:30am the previous week. The conversation (from my point of view) started off great and slowly declined.
Bob: Let’s meet earlier to review some light planning

WMAP: OK, great!
Bob: try to include landing and take-off distances

WMAP: Sure.
Bob: Weight and balance too

WMAP: right
Bob: for takeoff and landing

WMAP <please stop texting me with things to do>
This stuff is never ending, surely the planning shouldn’t take longer than the flight?


1 comment:

  1. The weight of flight planning is designed such that it puts all the stress on you while you are on the ground. Once you are in the air and flying to your plan you don't worry about the unknown because you have a plan so you just fly the plane. You would have all sorts of contingencies pre-briefed so if something happens, well, all you just follow the plan and fly the plane. If something comes up that perhaps doesn't fit your contingencies, weigh up ALL your options, make a command decision, and fly the plane.

    See a pattern emerging here?