6 Ways to Fly More in 2018
How was your flying in 2017?
Did you fly as much as you wanted? Did you visit the airfields that were on your bucket list?
Did you complete your training, or undertake the extra licences that you hoped to achieve.
For me, I managed to fly more hours than I ever have before. But I also didn’t manage nearly as many of the things I’d hoped to.
Summer seemed to pass so fast, and I found the list of airfields I’d wanted to fly to barely touched.
Now it’s dark again and I’m wishing 2018 to arrive sooner so that I can get out there more often.
Here are 6 tips on how you can fly more in 2018:
Make Use of the Winter
Two things I’d say about this are that winter often has some of the best, clear days. Picking a nearby airfield should leave you enough time for a trip out when the weather is nice.
Secondly, winter is perfect for undertaking a night rating or instrument rating – both of which play to the darkness and poorer weather we often get at this time of the year.
So make use of the winter between now and March, or from October next year when the next winter arrives.
Ask Others for Inspiration
If you’re spending any time hanging around the airport or the flying club – particularly when the weather has cancelled flying – use the opportunity to ask others about their recent flying.
Find out where they’ve been, which airfields (and bacon sandwiches!) are good, where the scenery was interesting, or even which new aircraft they’ve tried.
It could open your horizons to trying new things this year.
Make a List of Places to Visit NOW
Deciding where you’re going to fly when you arrive at the airport is a bad idea. You’ll end up flying somewhere you’ve been many times before, or just flying in your local area.
If you make a list of places you want to visit, you can use this to plan the flights, procedures and everything else well in advance. You can then pick a date that you’re going to fly to that airfield and have everything ready to go before you even set off to go to the airport.
Grab your flight guide, flying magazines, or think about the places you’ve heard are good, and make a list now for 2018. Then when you get time, plan the route and do your research, look at YouTube videos of others flying there, and think about when you’d like to go.
Find Cheaper Ways to Fly
One of the biggest hindrances to private flying is the cost. Only those lucky enough to be paid to fly get to do so often, and the rest of us tend to have to budget or save up for our weekly or monthly flights.
If money is a big issue in determining your flying, perhaps you could take some time to seriously think through ways to make it more affordable.
Would buying an aircraft share (or outright!) prove more cost effective to you in the long run?
Do different flying clubs at your airfield offer better prices for solo hires?
Is a different airfield more affordable?
Does anyone offer cheap rentals or hour building packages?
Could you offer to work at your flying club in exchange for flying time?
Hunt for Passengers
While you cannot be paid to fly people as a private pilot, you are perfectly within your rights to share the costs equally with passengers.
So have a think – are there people who would love to fly with you and see the area from above, or visit another airfield?
Maybe there are other pilots at your flying club who are in a similar situation and could share the costs of flights with you.
This could be a great way to save while flying more often.
Invest in New Equipment
Getting hold of some new equipment can open up your flying. All sorts of gadgets and software is produced these days for pilots which can both make your flying safer and more fun.
You can get apps which help you plan flights and navigate, and those which help you with the weather.
Then there are gadgets like headsets, sunglasses, cases, action cameras and much more.
Buying any of these will definitely inspire you to go out there and try them in the aircraft.
Down time while you await a better time of year for flying is the perfect opportunity to read my new book, 100 Ways to Fly More, which is packed full of tips on how to make the most of your private pilot’s licence. Use it for inspiration on what to do and achieve in 2018!