Updated: Jan 28, 2020
\ ˈflīt \ˈma-st(ə-)rē \ - A comprehensive knowledge or skill in aviation or matters related to flying.
This is my first ever attempt at blogging. I’m a “zero timer” so bear with me as I attempt to navigate this - much like a cross-country student using his first E6B. What’s my motivation you ask? Dumping 35+ years of aviation experience out of my head and onto paper so that I can make room for more! Yes it’s time to clear the cache.
For those who are younger to the world of flying - and in particular, instrument flying - you have an advantage in that you’re already accustomed to the fast pace of today's technology. For those of us who’ve been at this a while, the fluidity of things today is amazing, complex, and often times confounding. Thankfully one thing remains the same in that pilots want to improve their craft and live to fly another day.
I’ve named this blog “Flight Mastery” because as aviators we all are after the same thing. Young or old, novice or veteran, we all want to be better pilots! Mastery, as defined by Webster, is a “comprehensive knowledge in a subject or accomplishment”. And learning to fly, regardless of the rating on your FAA plastic, is a significant accomplishment. It’s a privilege shared by a rare few humans on this planet so we all need to do everything within our means to protect it. Constant learning and re-learning is a necessary component.
As for me, I started flying before I knew how to drive. I became an air traffic controller in 1981 and retired from that profession in at the end of 2013. I earned my CFI in 1984 and haven't stopped learning since. Having spent most of my professional life on both sides of the microphone has given me a unique perspective on our world of aviation - instrument flying in particular. Perhaps I can help "crack the code" on some things that matter to you.
Over the decades, I’ve witnessed amazing things as a controller at Chicago Center. I've enjoyed working with some of the most talented people on the planet. Unfortunately, I’ve also witnessed my share of nonsense. But at the end of the day, the NAS (National Airspace System) is an incredible place for both pilots and controllers to practice their craft. Through this blog my hope is to enhance the reader’s understanding of how the whole system works together. A good first step toward this understanding is to recognize that pilots and controllers have different motivations for getting through their respective work days! We will explore this concept further in my next segment.
What a perfect place to end my first "official" blog. Remember - the goal is to increase your knowledge, improve your skills, and help you fly more safely. Your feedback will be critical as we explore the NAS together so don’t hold back. Until then, live your life well flown! GL