Monday, June 18, 2012

Preparation, preparation, preparation

Preparation is the most crucial ingredient of being successful in aviation. Be your goal passing a check ride or landing that first flying job, preparation is fundamental to your ability to succeed. Indeed, from flight instructors to hiring managers, I’ve heard their laments that students and job applicants alike are arriving at their training or appointed interview sessions woefully unprepared. Why is good preparation so important? Your goal, as a student or job applicant, is to find someone to help you succeed in aviation. Those pilots, instructors, and hiring managers who subscribe to the “pay it forward” theory are looking to help those who have demonstrated that they are prepared, highly value their foothold in aviation and will work hard to move upwards. For me, as a general aviation pilot, Master CFI, and Airline Captain, preparation provides me with the confidence I need to safely and effectively get the job done, be a sim session or live airline flight. So whether you’re enroute to your goal or at the pinnacle of your career, remember that preparation is the key to your continued success. Here are some simple steps I take to ensure I am well prepared: • Review all material to be covered as well as consult any other resources to give you the big picture • Practice “chair flying” all maneuvers to be covered • Write down your questions as you review the material • Preview subsequent material to help you understand current subjects What are your concerns when it comes to preparation? • How do you make sure you are well-prepared for each lesson? • What are your three biggest hurtles to being well prepared? • Does anyone have a story about flying and being prepared (or not?) • What resources do you use to help you prepare for your flying? I’d like to hear from you and hope you’ll write me at captainkarenkahn@cox.net .