Of course my aim in all this is to become a better pilot. Let’s face it, it shouldn’t be hard to become a better pilot when I’m barely one at the moment.
Recently though I’ve discovered that not only do I need to be a better pilot, I need to work on becoming a better passenger, especially when RTH is flying. I’m really conscious of the fact that I do get anxious up there sometimes, and whilst that’s kind of OK when I’m with Bob, it really isn’t that fair on RTH.
Now that I can cope with the bumps and jolts of mild to moderate turbulence, I needed to figure out what it is that causes me anxiety, in order to work on eliminating it. I don’t wanna stress RTH out, managing passengers is something I’m starting to become aware of. From a pilot’s perspective, it brings its own challenges. I don’t want to add to them.
I rapidly realised that one thing that stresses me out, is what to do with my hands. This may sound silly but I worry about what to do with my hands when I’m a passenger. I want to make sure I don’t inadvertently grab hold of the yoke or anything stupid. Added to this is the fact that where you would normally rest your hands along the door frame, is exactly the point where the handle for the door release sits. I have visions of me opening the door mid-flight….. not good.
For your average person this wouldn’t be an issue but I don’t have hands that stay still. I need to be constantly doing something with them. If I’m watching TV or reading something at my desk then I’m fiddling with something. I have countless bits of ribbon or elastic or twist ties lying around my home that I mess with, all the time. At work I have a lump of sticky tack that I squeeze and mold while I’m working. I have to be careful in the winter, it leaches the moisture out of my hands and the skin cracks.
So I decided to solve the problem fairly easily. The last time I flew with RTH , I just put one of my fiddly bits of elastic in my hoodie pocket and happily occupied my hands that way.
It helped. A lot actually.
Seems silly but if it makes me a better passenger, then so be it.