Sharing What We Know Benefits All of Us!

by Dave Weiman
Published in Midwest Flyer Magazine online August/September 2021 issue

When Peggy and I were dating back in 1973 – shortly after I got my Private Pilot Certificate – we would go flying in a rented flying club airplane – a Cessna 150 or Cessna 177 Cardinal – with basic avionics – at which time I would convey to her my great, newfound knowledge. Now 48 years later and more experienced, I am trying to get her familiar with our much-more technologically advanced Cessna 182 Skylane. While I sometimes think we should have continued flying a very basic aircraft which Peggy was confident in handling, modern avionics was inevitable.

Peggy was raised on a farm, and is mechanically inclined, so she understands that if I became incapacitated, the plane would continue to fly in a straight and level manner to our destination with the auto pilot on. Knowing how to operate the radios and make coordinated turns is essential, but just knowing how to turn on and off the auto pilot, reduce power, lower flaps, and maintain minimum airspeed, would help her greatly to land the airplane, absent any auto-land system.

At some point, I would like Peggy to take some formal flying lessons (she has attended AOPA’s “Pinch-Hitter Course,” which has helped), but for now, she is getting a lot out of just going flying with me and reviewing the basics. And while she is learning, so am I. Verbally explaining what I am doing helps me to reinforce what I know, while Peggy is building confidence and getting more and more familiar with the airplane.

Gee, has it really been 48 years?

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