It’s an odd time…

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It’s a very odd time in our lives. As we each deal with COVID-19, a virus that has forced all of us to alter how we live, it means things are different. Many times a post to ReviewBeforeFlight on my birthday has been about my love of flying, whether it’s an aviation bucket list update or sharing a group flying experience. Often these April 2nd posts are an expression of sharing my passion for flying and aviation.

This year it’s different. In a post last month about hygiene in the cockpit, I described the proactive steps many flight schools were taking in light of the virus. Now, with the current CDC guidelines and status COVID-19, there really is no need to be conducting flight lessons. We all need to socially distance appropriately and stay home to help combat the spread of the virus. That said, while maybe we can’t fly as much as we’d like, there are some things we can do to stay in touch with our passion. Some of these things you may have lost touch with, so for some this could be getting back to your aviation roots.

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This picture is from 2006 or 2007, it was taken in a hangar that doesn’t even exist anymore… That’s how long it’s been since I’ve done anything with model aircraft!

1. Dust off those model airplanes and finish that project that’s been sitting on the bench all these years. A lot of general aviation pilots got their start in aviation through model airplane building and flying. Many pilots become consumed in flying manned aircraft which results in the models getting left behind to collect dust. Spending some hours working on your models, even refreshing ones that were complete is a great way to socially distance responsibly while also getting back in touch with your aviation roots. Did you even notice that the picture at the top of the page is of the Piper Cub model in the image directly above? At quick glance, it almost looks life-size due to perspective… Pretty neat!

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Thousands of future pilots first got their feet wet with Microsoft Flight Simulator…

2. Fire up that flight simulator! Chances are that if you didn’t get into aviation through building model aircraft you probably flew a flight simulator on your home computer for hours upon hours. While it may not be the real thing, it is a great way to get in touch with your aviation roots and have some fun. When done correctly you can even use a home flight simulator to help keep you fresh on memory flow items and checklists. These are items that are always good to practice especially if you’re out of the game for a little while…

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One of my favorite flying memories was my time in Talkeetna, Alaska during 2008 when I earned my float rating in a Tri-Pacer on floats. It was cloudy consistently, but once it cleared and Denali was visible, I was amazed at how large of a mountain it truly was.

3. If you weren’t a model builder or a flight simulator pilot then it’s time to stroll down memory lane. Get out your phone and computer and search your files, or maybe pull out the photo album from the pre-digital image times. See if you can create a Top 5 of your favorite flying pictures or trips. Maybe it was the great lighting or the beautiful color you could capture from 2300’ over the fall foliage that made a certain picture really pop. Alternatively, maybe your first solo cross country holds special memories or your first flight with a passenger… Take the time to revisit your favorite flying memories and relive that flying smile.

These are just three ideas, there could be many other ways to enjoy your aviation passion while staying at home and helping to prevent the spread of COVID-19. At the end of the day it’s an odd and difficult time. I hope you stay safe, healthy and happy. We’ll get through this and back to the days of hangar flying around the FBO coffee table and group trips to breakfast eventually! You could always start planning some of those trips now, think you could still use a real e6b and flight plan navigation log? I dare you!

-Fly Safe, @MTElia1B9

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