Maintaining Proficiency for Free

You can still learn even when you're weather out.

Tip Maintaining Proficiency
Tip Maintaining Proficiency

When the weather’s truly awful the decision to stay on the ground rather than fly is easy. But you’ve budgeted this time for flying anyway so why not get some use out of it?

You might instead decide to “chair fly,” where you sit down and mentally go through various checklist items. If you have a flight simulator program on your PC, you could choose to fly the flight you’d hoped to make that day. You could even dial in the truly awful weather conditions to see what it would have been like to fly — no doubt confirming your decision to cancel the trip.

When the weather’s bad there’s really no reason you have to sit at home either. You could drive to the airport, grab the keys and sit in the cockpit with the pilot’s operating handbook, running through checklists or emergency procedures in the airplane while it’s still tied down. Walking through an emergency checklist or trying your hand at a blind cockpit check is far more effective when you’re in the actual airplane.

Since the airplane’s not going anywhere anyway, why not make a productive day of it? Best of all, it’s a totally free way to maintain proficiency.