Every pilot will tell you that the trick to successful flying is to stay ahead of the plane. There’s an old saying that tells us “never put the plane somewhere your mind wasn’t 5 minutes ago”.
I’m going to tell you that it is, in fact, possible to be too far ahead of the plane. Today’s flight, for example, the plan being that I’d do the obligatory couple of circuits to regain my currency and then head off to the practice area.
Well my circuits were bad because, quite simply, my brain was already out at the practice area. As we took off and climbed like the proverbial rocket, I made my crosswind turn nice and early as ATC had requested me to. I kept up the best rate of climb and both Bob and I marvelled at the performance of the plane in this cool weather.
“Watch your altitude,” Bob advised. I looked at him, then my altimeter, then him again. Momentarily confused, sure I’m just passing through 1300ft, what’s the issue?
“Oh Crap I’m staying in the circuit, aren’t I? D’oh!!!!” Quickly I lose the excess height.
Mentally I was already heading off to Claremont, planning out my flight to the east. Oops! As I said before it is possible to be too far ahead. I was a whole flight in front of myself!