Taking Flight Lessons, A way to Accelerate your learning

Motorcycle Racing and Flight Lessons.  What do they have in common.

0009100ALT="1/48 Cessna 150" HSPACE=10 VSPACE=2 BORDER=2 height=132 width=250> How can motorcycle racing ideas improve your flight lesson training, Learning from Kenny Roberts World Champion motorcycle racer.
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How to improve your flight lessons by learning from a Motorcycle Racer

It took me longer than usual to solo too, but that was in part because of the incredible winds the year that I took my flight lessons and another reason is that the instructor wanted to be sure that I knew the tricks so I didn't kill myself.

But there was one big thing that really helped.  I read a story about a motorcycle racer named Kenny Roberts who was the world champion for many years in a row.  He said the night before a race, he would prepare by thinking of the track and pretending, in detail, he was on the track racing.  He would sit on the couch with his eyes closed and make the noise of starting his bike in the Pitts, driving it to the starting line and racing around the track.  He said not to do this in front of anyone because they would think that you were stupid and you also couldn't concentrate.  The next day, he almost always took first place. 

Well, being the world champion, I cannot argue with his methods.  So I decided to use the method the day before my training flights.  I would sit on the couch, go through the check list, start the engine and make all the noise too.  It did sound stupid and if anyone was around I would be embarrassed.  I had my eyes closed all the time.  I then ed on my lights, and listened to ATIS.  Then I called ground control and asked for taxi clearance, taxied to the runway hold line, contacted the tower and requested permission to take off.  I even mimicked the towers replies.  I took off and did everything that my instructor would want me to do, practice the stalls and everything.  When I landed and turned the airplane off, it was exactly an hour flight.  With this method I was able to go back and correct the errors when I made them and, unlike the real flight where if you made a mistake you ended up with several mistakes in a row, I corrected the mistake and moved on to the next flight maneuver.

Much to my surprise, the next day when I flew the airplane, I flew like I had flown all of my life.  After doing this procedure several times, my head got swollen and I decided that I didn't need the procedure.  Again, much to my surprise, when I flew, I was all thumbs and didn't start flying smoothly until almost the end of the flight.

I still had problems with using the rudders on cross wind landings so I did the mind experiment again and pretended I was flying along a line on the ground with a strong gusty cross wind.  When the nose was blown to the left, I hit the right rudder to correct the problem.  This worked quite well.

Then as an experiment while I was in the real airplane, I flew along a road and practiced crossed controls, pushing the rudder very hard to the right and giving a lot of left aileron to keep the flight path straight along the road.   I did this to the left and then to the right and flew for some time doing this procedure.  The crossed controls were a big problem for me to comprehend but this procedure got me straight.

I hope that this helps you because it really helps me even today in all kinds of procedures while in flight or in other business dealings.  I always practice the night before.

I wrote the above article for the National Modified Midget Association many years ago.  At this time there was no internet.  Flight Simulator didn't exist, but the above process works so well, that you don't really need a flight simulator.  But with the flight simulator technology.  here for the Real Microsoft Flight Simulator X   

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A Journey from Childhood to War
A tremendous story about Jesse Pettey a B-24 Liberator Pilot in World War 2 which takes you from his childhood to becoming an Army Air Force Captain in World War 2. 

By Jesse Pettey.

Jesse Petty, B-24 Liberator Pilot


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