Learning Experiences

November 2008 Issue

Unintended Consequences

Having begun my pilot training with more than a few gray hairs, I spent almost the same number of hours in my 172, trying to perfect the important-to-me skill of smooth landings. Michiganís weather exposed me to continuous crosswinds, along with a generous sprinkling of snow and ice-covered runways along the way. My Midwest landing and takeoff experience was rounded out in the summer by incorporating grass and short-field training from those with grayer (or less) hair. As the years and hours accumulated in the fickle, "occasional" cloud-covered Michigan skies, the next confidence builder was to obtain an instrument rating. Hours spent in a simulator, along with hood time and, eventually, a few flights in actual following the glideslope to the runway added to my confidence that landings could be routine.

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