I haven’t flown a plane in just about a year. I’ve done some trips with Ken supporting from the right seat but I haven’t been at the controls. My biennial flight review is due in ten days and I’m already well past my comfort level with currency and proficiency. How did this happen?

The main reason I haven’t been flying is that as cool as being a pilot is, flying a little plane is kind of a pain. It’s impractical transportation. It’s fun to just go up and look around but less so in the Bay Area; the combination of weather and airspace makes a Sunday drive a bit of a challenge. And I’ve already done my $200 hamburger runs to every nearby airport. After my big solo Texas trip I’d sort of met the challenge I had set for myself from the beginning.

The related reason is it hasn’t been as fun for me as I hoped. My instrument training stalled out, a common problem with GA pilots; once I’d learned all the fun stuff I was facing lots of hours of grueling practice. I also have never gotten completely over the small anxiety one feels getting in to a little plane. I’m a good pilot and well trained, but the nagging safety concerns in the back of my mind casts a bit of a pall over what should be something just for fun.

I feel badly about not flying. I’m privileged to have a license and a medical and a plane to fly and the money to pay to fly it. I know lots of folks who scrap and save and hustle for every flight hour and here I am squandering my opportunity. I’m sure I’ll go back to flying some time, maybe on an Alaska adventure or around Grass Valley where the airspace is simpler or maybe just for sightseeing with friends. It’s just not where my head is at right now.

  2012-09-20 18:20 Z