Get a New Perspective

If you've been flying for a while and have flown with a few different people you are probably well aware that, in aviation as well as in many other facets of life, there are many ways to skin a cat. And so it is in the profession of flight instructing. For example, there are different perspectives on how and when to use an autopilot, how to approach an airport in crosswind conditions and how to choose a cross-country route, and there are about a million different ways to set up for an instrument approach, some of which are definitely more effective than others.

If you have been using the same instructor for your biennial flight reviews or your instrument proficiency checks for a while, you may want to consider trying a new perspective. You are likely to learn something new and the instructor may catch some bad habits that your regular teacher has perhaps allowed to slip. The instructor may, in fact, have some bad habits that have during the course of your training transferred to you. A new instructor can identify those flaws and give you suggestions on how to become a better pilot.

If you feel bad about "cheating" on your instructor, you could look into combining your training with a new rating, such as a seaplane rating, which you can get in just a few days and is about the most fun flying you'll ever have. You could also work on getting endorsed for high altitude operations or high performance, complex or tailwheel airplanes. Whether you end up using the actual rating or endorsement you will definitely learn something new and some of that knowledge may transfer to your regular flying regimen.

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Pia Bergqvist joined FLYING in December 2010. A passionate aviator, Pia started flying in 1999 and quickly obtained her single- and multi-engine commercial, instrument and instructor ratings. After a decade of working in general aviation, Pia has accumulated almost 3,000 hours of flight time in nearly 40 different types of aircraft.

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