Visualize the Perfect Flight

Flight of the mind will help maintain your skills.

IFR Insight Arrival

IFR Insight Arrival

With the winter months upon us, you may not be able to fly as frequently as you did in the months when the northern hemisphere gets more light and warmer temperatures. While you are likely able to safely fly after not flying for a few weeks, you'll be in much better shape if you take a few moments and visualize a perfect flight before you go.

Visualization is commonplace with pilots who fly precision flights, such as aerobatics. These professionals not only go through the flight in their minds. They also actually walk through their performance in what can become a beautiful dance. And other professionals, particularly elite athletes, use visualization to improve their performance.

A study done by the Department of Biomedical Engineering at the Lerner Research Institute at the Cleveland Clinic in 2004 even found that physical strength can be gained simply by engaging in mental stimulation of muscles.

So whether you are about to embark on a joy-flight were you imagine yourself making perfect radio calls, rotating at the perfect moment, raising the gear as soon as you see a positive rate of climb, climbing out exactly at Vy, and so on; or an instrument flight where you visualize a perfect instrument departure, en route segment and approach, or imagine flying a symmetrical loop that concludes at the exact starting altitude, visualization will help you increase the chances of achieving that goal. Just sit down in your favorite easy chair, imagine yourself strapped into the left seat in the cockpit and fly. Best of all, you won't burn a single drop of 100LL.

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