November 2008 Issue

Proficiency Checklist Could Save You Fuel Costs

An idea thatís been around for a long time comes back to help you save some money on fuel and keep the edge you worked for with just a little extra effort.

We all work hard to develop the skills necessary to pass a checkride. A lot of effort and expense is involved. But we often lose sight of the real objectiveónot just building those skills to pass a checkride, but to keep those skills sharp so that we might call upon them when theyíre needed. One mechanism to help us do that efficiently is a proficiency checklist, one inspired by an Aviation Safety article enough years ago that itís been lost in the easily accessed archives. Recently weíve gotten some feedback from long-time readers that they liked the article and still use the ideas presented there. They suggested we revisit the idea and present it again. Given the extraordinary cost of fuel and flying today, itís become ever more difficult to allocate the money to just go up and play or even to simply maintain proficiency. Increasingly, weíve got to have a specified purpose to justify going flying. Before we delve into the proficiency checklist, though, letís take a look at the way a typical GA pilot maintains proficiency.

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