But once the certificate is earned, we are on our own to fly the airplane however we choose. Because there are so many safety margins built into the environment and equipment we fly, from long runways to engines with an excess of power, there are often no immediate penalties for climbing at a sub-optimum airspeed, or skipping a routine checklist item. I’ve seen it time and again when flying with pilots, years after their check ride, where they seem to kick back and take a more casual approach to flying. Speed and altitude control are loosely managed, and only essential checklist items are completed. Flight controls are handled roughly, and the throttle is operated with large inputs, without consideration for how it affects engine operating temperatures.