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A conversation with two exceptional pilots

A few weeks ago, I made the lucky acquaintance of two formidable pilots. I am constantly looking to learn as much as I can from better and more experienced pilots. For this reason, I was thrilled to exchange some thoughts with Filippo Barbero, pilot of the Frecce Tricolori (the Italian Airforce Aerobatic Team) from 2010 till end of 2018 and solo pilot from 2015 , and Filippo Fontemaggi, helicopter pilot for Search-and-Rescue and expert of flight safety.

Together they started an online channel called Aviator Channel where they discuss with subscribers about aeronautical culture, airmanship and aviation safety. You can find it on Twitch and I strongly recommend you to subscribe!

The atmosphere of the channel is great! It quickly became the usual meeting point for a variety of pilots and aviation fans. After having discussed my incident with two RC planes in one of the live episodes, we decided to have a simple conversation on the channel on more general topics.

I find it truly great that two pilots of such standing spend so much of their private time for this initiative. Through the channel we all learn to make the sky safer and a more enjoyable place.

You find the full interview at the end of the article. It was done in Italian, but you can activate English subtitles.

Find here some afterthoughts about our chat:

The passion for flying

The passion for flying strikes everyone in different ways: Filippo Barbero told me that his interest in aviation started thanks to a course on aeronautical culture held by the Italian Airforce during high-school times. His contact with the world of aviation happened somehow late, but it was love at at first sight. He then followed the course to obtain the glider pilot license and this set in motion all the steps that followed and for which we all know him.

Filippo Fontemaggi had a different trigger. He admitted smiling that, like many of his generation, he was charmed by the movie Top Gun and similar Hollywood movies. At the same time, he had a genuine and deeptly-rooted passion, which his mother supported all the way.

Indeed, often parents with a different background think of aviation as a merely practical activity. They don’t consider that pilots must continuously train on a variety of topics and get tested regularly on their knowledge and skills.

Also, training as a pilot can become the way to to serve one’s country. Both pilots, indeed, trained with the Italian Airforce. After the first contact with an operative unit, they knew the Airforce was their natural environment.

The value of the military training

A few minutes into our chat, it became very clear to me to what extent the training and the professional environment are key distinctive elements. Military values revolve around the importance of the team to achieve complex goals.

Also, a constant stream of feedback characterises the environment in an operative unit. Its aim is to fine-tune the skills of each pilot to the highest standard.

As civilian and private pilots there is much we can learn from this world. Honesty, respect and transparency are simple qualities we should particularly observe and value when flying.

Stress and fear

Filippo Barbero served with the Airforce in theatres of operations before joining the National Aerobatic Team (in Italian “PAN”). Filippo Fontemaggi performed search and rescue mission for the Airforce in high-risk environments. Because of the nature of these activities, I wanted to ask about their relationship with stress and fear, a topic that many pilots avoid talking about.

It is normal and even healthy to feel stress when performing a complex task, especially when it’s something new. The stress is a way for our brain to keep alert. However, if a pilot feels fear before a flight, this should be taken as a warning signal about the quality of their training.

For military pilots, taking-off for a specific assignment is a duty. The mindset is therefore very different from that of a leisure pilot, who can decide whether to take-off or not depending on the spur of the moment.

Also, the purpose is very distant: an Airforce pilot has a concrete task to complete. Generally a mission which is critical for the life of others. A leisure pilot generally flies for more abstract -although merit worthy- reasons, like fulfill their own sense of achievement or simply enjoy the view.

Watch the full interview

The interview was conducted in Italian. However, you can activate the subtitles pressing the ‘CC’ button and then switch to English clicking on the ‘settings’ icon.

Click here to access the full interview.

More about the channel

Many of the past episodes can be found on the Youtube channel. This way you can also benefit of the auto-translated captions.

Here some of my favourites:

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Story of an Air Rally

“We’re way too fast, slow down as much as you can” says Ori as we approach Schloss Auerbach, one of the many castles in southern Hesse, built by nothing less that King Charlemagne. I reduce power, pitch up the nose to the limit of stall and extend flaps. In matter of seconds our speed drops by 35 knots. “Great! Now off to RID VOR”. This way we headed to gain the second place at the 2020 ESA-ECB Air Rally.

What is an air rally?

Back a few years, air navigation was conducted relying only on paper charts, compass and stop watch. There was no GPS and even no radio navigation aids (like VORs). A great way to train pilots was to have them compete in races of precision. Pilots would need to reach given waypoints exactly at the time declared and every deviations either in terms of time of space would add to a penalty. The crew to complete the course with the least penalty would win.

Today, most pilots just rely on their GPS, after obtaining their license. Moving maps and GPS are indeed great tools if used properly, but one should not lose proper navigation skills, so air rallying is a great way to keep one’s ability honed and have fun with other pilots.

The idea of our own Air Rally

2020 has been an incredibly bad year for most people because of the COVID-19 Pandemic. Aviation was among the sectors that were hit harder.

I had been planning for months to join a very special competition, the Air Rally of the Six lakes, organised by Aeroclub Como and to be run with Seaplanes. Due to COVID-19 my original plans were sadly frustrated and the race was first postponed and then cancelled.

I really did not want to give up, after so much preparation. At the same time I wanted to make any possible event meaningful for who was truly suffering because of COVID.

After a lot of reflection, I put some ideas down on paper and discussed with some friends, members of the flying club of the European Space Agency. After a brief call, we decided to go ahead and put the foundations for the first ESA-ECB Air Rally together with fund-raising for various intiatives.

A very special guest

We were also blessed with the participation of Paolo Ferri, former Spacecraft Operation Manager of the ESA Mission “Rosetta” and Head of Mission Operations when the Air Rally took place. Paolo was fundamental for the success of our event: he was our honorary judge, he took all the air-to-air pictures and gave an unforgettable presentation about Mission Rosetta. The talk with him was truly a special experience to understand the intricacies behind one of the most complex missions of space exploration in the history of mankind.

I strongly recommend to take a look at the Masterclass series, which he recorded for the European Space Agency, and to his recently published book about mission Rosetta (“Il cacciatore di comete“, the comet chaser)

Finally the race

Pilots and navigators gather around the table of the flight planning room. For this edition of the Rally it was decided that the pilots would agree together the route rather than receiving a given one from the judges.

After a brief discussion the route is decided: EDFE (Egelsbach) -> RID VOR -> The entry of Eicher See (a small marina on the side of the Rhein River) -> the Coleman Airfield (a former US base) -> Castle Auerbach -> RID VOR and then back to Egelsbach.

All navigators work on their planning, calculate routes, times and speeds. Check the weather and wind corrections. The hall is silent, but the tensions is high. It’s a friendly contest, that’s clear, but nobody wants to lose.

All crews walk to their aircrafts, run the pre-flight checks and start the engines!

Unexpected complication

Ori and I decided to fly with a Diamond Aircraft DV20 of my flying club. We chose it mostly because it’s responsive, offers amazing visibility and can accelerate or slow down in matter of instants, should that be needed.

We had a shocking surprise as we hopped on, though. The directional gyro, a really important instrument for precision flying, had been removed due to some malfunction in a previous flight.

When flying the compass gives very erratic indication due to the movement of the plane on different axes and its acceleration. For this reason, when flying the gyroscopic compass is preferred. It keeps a steady heading thanks to a fast-spinning rotor and is not subject to the errors which affect the compass.

Running this type of competition without that instrument meant that our competition was already going uphill. We don’t lose our cool. Visibility is good and I am confident that we can locate the way points also visually.

Take off!

We accelerate on the wet runway 26, we detach from the asphalt at 55 knots and the DV20 climbs nicely through the cold sky. On the ground, the participants stare with awe at the planes lining up and departing one after the other.

“Whisky-Foxtrot, Uniform-X-Ray we’ve acquired you”

Close to RID-VOR, we were in contact with the mighty Maule of Christian. Paolo, on board, took great air-to-air shots of all aircrafts.

Too fast! Too fast!

The rally was going well, we were practically perfect on all waypoints. We just had a slight delay on the entry of Eicher See, but still nothing dramatic if we could make sure that the other legs would be flown precisely. But just as we approached Castle Auerbach, a castle in the hills erected by King Charlemagne, Ori warned me that we were very fast and had too much advantage with respect to the planned target time. I pitched up the plane, applied carburetor heat and reduced power. As soon as the airspeed indicator dropped below 90 knots I also applied full flaps and reapplied power to maintain the plane at 55 knots. The DV20 maintained its speed without any issue. At such a low speed any turn must very gentle and the bank must remain very contained in order to prevent a stall.

“We made it!” announced Ori “now off to RID”. I “cleaned” the aircraft, which means retracting flaps, and pitched down to get back to our cruising speed.

The last leg was exhilarating. We joined in formation the other aircrafts who kept orbiting around RID and then landed back in Egelsbach winning the second place of the 2020 ESA-ECB Air Rally.

More visual narrations of the event

Exclusive sketches by Watercolorasia

Video album

Charity cause

The main purpose of the event was to raise charity. The many donations received were given to the ONG “Emergency which offers free medical care in war zones and in areas affected by extreme poverty, attending a patient every minute since 1994.

Credits

I would like to thank wholeheartedly Paolo Ferri for his involvement and for sharing his unique experience. I would like to thank Gavox Watches for sponsoring the first prize , all the volunteers who supported our event, Holger Neuhaus for the amazing pictures, Dirk Wagner for the moderation of the event with Paolo Ferri, Diamond Aircraft for letting us use their space and Motorflugschule Egelsbach for additional logistical support.

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A near miss with two RC jet planes

The story I am going to tell you is still very fresh in my mind, yet so shocking that it is difficult for me to draw any conclusions. Indeed, this post is probably a way to fix some thoughts while I still struggle to make sense out of it.

A perfect morning

As I love to do in Summer, I met a friend at the airfield right at opening time (0800 CEST). I run the pre-flight checks and as usual I explain to my guest through each part and why it is critical for the safety of our flight. Over the years, I find that actually saying what you are about to do or doing, makes you less prone to forget things and make mistakes, so I like to have some audience to justify my words.

Fuel fine, all systems are working properly, so I line up RWY 26 and take off in what seemed the clearest and calmest day of the year. Even close to the hills, the air was smooth. As matter of fact, visibility was virtually unlimited. Right after passing the city of Darmstadt with a southern heading, I was able to direct the look straight to Mannheim and the Neckar river valley, where the city of Heidelberg is located.

Flying over the Rhein, the color of its waters was of an unusual blue. I was monitoring the instruments and in my heart was thinking what a blessing days like these are to clear the head from the stress of work and inject breathtaking memories.

As I passed over one of my favourite castles and then headed East to pass the valley and reduce altitude in view of the landing a few minutes later.

The encounter

I knew I had to avoid a city called Reinheim, because of a NOTAM (“notification to airmen”, a message service to warn pilots of dangers or restrictions) related to aerobatic activities, so I headed towards Ober-Ramstadt. All seemed truly fine, when it happened and it happened incredibly fast so that my brain could not really determine what was really going on.

The only useful thing that some brain cells agreed was that it was something that required an immediate reaction because I lied on on colliding trajectory with the object in front of me. I pushed the controls fully to the right, hoping for the Katana to respond as quickly as needed. While the plane rolled right, my brain finally made some sense of what was going on: a radio-controlled jet model had intersected my flying path vertically at an incredibly small distance and was now closing a loop. If I had delayed my manoeuvre, it would have crashed into the canopy of the plane.

For some instants, I could not say a word, trying instead to review mentally the images of that objects.

Then, I gave a look to the plane ad check that everything was fine and called the radio station to report the encounter.

The footage from the cameras

Thankfully, I had two GoPros recording at the time of the incident. I placed one camera inside the cockpit, while the other I had mounted and secured to the foot step on the left side of the plane, looking backwards.

Once landed I called the Deutsche Flugsicherung (the air traffic control) and reported the incident providing immediately video and GPS recordings.

Then I sat in front of my laptop watching the recordings a countless times. My GPS said I was at 1900 ft when the near miss happened. The elevation of the ground below me was around 800ft, based on data from Google Earth. This meant that I found myself in airspace Echo, well above safety altitude.

European regulations allow model planes to fly higher than 400ft only if the pilot(s) have a certificate of proficiency and a flight director looks out and warns about possible traffic.

A lot of questions

My head was flooded with questions: did I do something wrong? if the RC plane had hit me would I have sufficient control to land the plane?

I felt quite powerless: II followed all regulations and even exercised extra care. To realise that something so independent from our conduct could cause a catastrophic end brought to my mind the pages of a famous book among pilots: “Fate is the hunter” by Ernest K. Gann

But while I could do nothing more than trying to avoid the two objects as quickly as I could, I thought that once on ground I could indeed do something to reduce the risk. So I though “what can we do to avoid similar issues from happening again?”

Perhaps 2 things which could be done easily:

  • 1. Mark model airfields on your ICAO charts
  • 2. Make compulsory for model pilots to monitor traffic, either via radio or with an ADS-B receiver and monitor

The video report

What next?

Well, I am waiting to know the outcome of the investigation of the Bundesamt für Flugsicherung, the body that took over the investigation. Once available I will share it on this website. Meanwhile, take your ICAO chart and mark additional danger areas that may not be present on it.

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Hunting clouds in a small plane

Very often, a VFR pilot wakes up in the morning, looks at a gloomy sky and has to make the call whether to go on with a planned flight. This call is sometimes very difficult to make. Chasing clouds definitely requires some luck.

I woke up at 5.00 am because of the rain. Half asleep I couldn’t avoid thinking of the weather I would find two hours later and if I would manage to fly at all. However, the rain stopped quickly. I checked the meteo forecast for Frankfurt Egelsbach (which, unfortunately does not have a METAR anymore): 16.5 C, 91% humidity and weather improving over the day.

Now, you may or may not know that you can estimate the cloud height with a simple rule of thumb:

(local temperature – dew point) * 400m where the dew point is simply the local temperature multiplied by the humidity rate.

In this case, the result gave me the hope of having a very special flight with scattered clouds at low altitude. In airspace G, (the closest to the ground in uncontrolled space, more info here) you are required to simply keep clear of clouds but have no specific requirement for horizontal separation. However, please, always respect the Rules of the Air and don’t take risks. Entering a cloud in VFR is a top killer of pilots and very likely to disorient even most expert pilots.

I am going to remember the flight for a very long time. Dancing with the clouds, chasing and flying around them is a very special way to start your day. The contemplation of nature is what make flying very special for me (check this article too). So, after this very special dance I returned to the airfield very grateful for the breathtaking images I engraved in my mind.

But you are lucky, because I also caught them on tape!

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Diary of an Apprentice Astronaut

Penguin released the English translation of “Diary of an Apprentice Astronaut” by ESA Astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti last week (link here). The Diary is a very personal account of what happened to the Writer from the moment she was selected for one of the first stages of the recruitment for ESA Astronauts till she landed back in Kazakhstan after 200 days in Space on board of the International Space Station.

Please trust my opinion, this should be the next book you read, if you are even just remotely interested in aviation and space exploration.

Indeed, let me say that only a few books were able to capture my interest, satisfy my curiosity and then pierce my layer of critical filter to touch directly my core values and feelings.

Richard Bach wrote in a famous article: “Any [pilot] who would print his loves and fears and learnings on the pages of magazines says farewell to the secrets of his mind and gives them to the world.” This is what Samantha Cristoforetti did by opening her diary to us.

But let’s get to what I loved of the book:

All the information you wish for, never overly technical

Only a few people have the gift to explain complex things in easy terms. Thanks to this great ability of the Author, I managed to discover a lot of aspects and details of the background of a space mission without getting lost in difficult scientific explanations.

The language is direct and clear, the way you would indeed expect from a pilot and astronaut, but don’t think the book is at all a dry description of technical aspects.

To the contrary, you’ll see how relationship, teamwork and friendship are at the core of space exploration. Reading the book you realise how all space missions rely on a planetary network of agencies, scientists, expert, trainers, technicians that work around the clock and around the globe. Astronauts in training travel around the globe to the different agencies to train on modules, procedures, suits and tools over a period that lasts around 2 years.

If the extent of this global cooperation is somewhat new to you, you can’t avoid asking yourself, why don’t we cooperate so well with each other also in all other fields?

The descriptions

As said, the book is far from being some sterile technical account of events. A side that I truly enjoyed are the descriptions of places, people and rituals. I don’t think I will ever visit the Cosmodrome of Baikonur or Star City, the complex outside Moscow where astronauts train, but in my head I could almost tell you how the coffee and cookies taste and what precise tone the carpets are. I could imagine to walk in the room where they serve a royal-like buffet before the departure of the astronauts and I could imagine to smile and nod while hearing a toast in Russian. I could almost feel the pain in my forearm when the Author describes the difficulty of grabbing an object while wearing the rigid gloves of the EMU, the NASA suit for extravehicular activities.

Reflections on human life

This is not a book about philosophy nor about politics and a few ontological questions pop-up very discreetly only every now and then. However, who saw our planet from 400km of height acquires necessarily a different perspective on the life on our planet. The lifespan of the whole mankind is absolutely irrelevant compared to the age of Universe. Yet too much of our life gets wasted in fights and diatribes. If we became more aware of how insignificant our existence is compared to the rest of Universe, perhaps we would be more compassionate towards each other.

I loved this aspect of the book because it’s a feeling I also share. Let me be clear, I have little to share with the experience of the Author. I have very little experience of microgravity limited to a few instants in some aerobatic manoeuvre and I would probably never be able to spend more than a week with the same 6 individuals in the limited room of the International Space Station. Nevertheless, I understand somehow the feeling, as this is similar to what I and many other pilots feel after a flight where we managed to contemplate the beauty of nature: humbled and grateful.

In conclusion

I found it a very inspiring reading and I would strongly recommend it to anyone, but especially to young readers.

Diary of an Apprentice Astronaut is truly a great book and I am confident you will be as satisfied with the reading as I was. Now, when I look at the sky and spot the ISS at night, I feel a whole new sense of familiarity with that strange object and its inhabitants.

The book is available in English, Italian and German at any online bookstore (not sure, why the changed the cover in the English edition, I personally prefer the Italian version, below).

Also, all proceeds of the Author go to charitable organisations.

Do you want to spot the ISS at night or verify whether it was that light spot in the sky? check here: http://www.isstracker.com/

As usual, I am happy to hear your comments!

Benny

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What pilot watches to own in 2020


The Aeronaut has finally completed its list of most appreciated watches for 2020. This doesn’t mean that the watches have necessarily been released this year. It’s more a view on how they compare to peers and the general trends in terms of watches.

It was a really tough choice because of the many excellent watches available. Also, I hope you will forgive the delay in publishing this list, but due to very high workload it was impossible to write earlier.

Enjoy and be safe!

Gavox Spitfire

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Gavox is one of the brands I love for many reasons: Michael Happé designed this watch for pilots and maintains its impeccable taste throughout all models while ensuring to meet the operational needs of any aviator: readability, durability and precision. Do you need a proof for this? Many fighter jet pilots and also cinema celebrities like Monica Bellucci wear Gavox on their wrists.

Let’s get, however, to the reason why I chose the Spitfire. Right when I felt satisfied about my collection of pilot watches by Gavox and was thinking to move to another micro brand, Gavox released the Spitfire and it was love at first sight! The Spitfire features a 36mm case, sapphire crystal and a Seiko quartz movement. You read right: 36mm! In facts, in today’s world, this is an unusually small size. However, I tested the watch in flight and can enthusiastically say that this is a pure pilot watch, well readable even during bumpy rides. But its charm is not limited to the sky. indeed, it will catch a lot of attention also discretely sliding out of a suit’s cuff.

The price is EUR 210 at Gavox shop.

Bulova A15

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Bulova is a name that grew closely linked to the American air and space industry. The NASA chose their clocks to display the official time in the control rooms of the US space program during its Mercury, Gemini and Apollo years. Bulova’s Accutron even made it to space during Apollo 15.

The recently issued A15 is the remake of a watch commissioned by the US government for the military pilots in 1943. The government requested a reliable and solid watch and it needed to have a very specific function: keeping track of the lapsed flight time. Only a few test watches were produced, the series production sadly never took off. Along this line, many things changed over time: Bulova went into financial trouble is now owned by Citizen and this watch mounts a Miyota automatic movement instead of one of the innovative and original movement Bulova became known for. Nevertheless, we have to be thankful to Citizen for keeping alive a brand that accompanied some of the bravest conquest in mankind.

However, I chose this watch for three main reasons: 1. the way its 42 mm case looks and feels is absolutely amazing, 2. I keep cheering for Bulova and hope in the future it will make us talk because of some new crazy proprietary movement and 3. I desperately needed a watch with a lapsed time marker for my flights.

The hands and dial numbers are treated with blue luminescent paint.

The watch prices around EUR 499 and is available from multiple online stores.

Breitling Navitimer B01 Cronograph

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One may argue that recommending to purchase a watch that has been around for ages does not make much sense. I disagree and I will tell you why: Breitling recently became property of a private equity fund. Accordingly, the group took some decisions that are in my view excessively profit oriented and disregard the long tradition and history of Breitling. under the new owenrship of CVC Capital partners, the company is selling a new version of “Navitimer”. Unfortunately the new watch has very little to share with the original model holding this name: the Navi-8, the name given to the new Navitimer, indeed has no flight ruler, no cronograph and no proprietary movement. So my choice to include the B01 is a way to celebrate the real Breitling spirit with one of the most iconic models ever made.

Unimatic – Modello 1 (U1-FN)

This is not exactly an aviator watch. It’s a diver’s watch, which works great also in the air. Indeed, it offers a very simple dial, with minimum visual disturbances. The hands are treated with Super Luminova (R) C1 and the case is dark and brushed, which prevents disturbing glare when flying on a sunny day. All these features together ensure maximum visibility. The caliber is an automatic Seiko and the watch is water resistant up to 300m.

Price is currently EUR 625 on the Unimatic website.

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A very special passenger

A few times I have offered her old to join me for a flight. She generally declined in various ways, ranging from a diplomatic “oh today is not a good day, what about tomorrow?” to a more direct “No, I don’t want to!”

Still flying with her remained a big dream for me.

A few weeks ago, a friend with whom I was supposed to fly called me in the morning to say he could not join.

“Well” I thought “perhaps this is the time”. So without inquiring or explaining too much, I told my daughter and my wife that I needed to go to the airport and whether they wanted to come with me. Once there, I asked the little one whether she would like to fly with Dad and see our house from the sky. Her excited smile mattered the world to me. I walked her to the DA40, which was waiting for us out of the hangar, did the walk around with her, answering to any question she might have and then sat her in the plane.

She loved talking through the headset. It was so funny to see how she tried to act and talk through the mic as professional as a six year-old can. The day was relatively calm, but we felt a couple of bumps here and there. I explained to her this was normal and she wasn’t scared at all. She loved to watch the town and the fields from a 1000 ft. Eventually we flew over our home. When she recognised it, she could not contain her excitement. “Papa, that is our home! Look!”

We headed back and, after landing, completing the final checklist and removing the headset, she looked at me and told me the words that every pilot and father would like to hear: “Papa it was the most beautiful thing I have ever done! I want to come with you every time you fly!”…. she waited a few more instants and then again: “Papa, can I give you a kiss?”

I wanted to share with you this very emotional moment for me. Did you fly with your kids? How was it? Feel free to drop me a line!

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5 things to do during the Covid-19 pandemic

Coronavirus is causing huge disruptions across the globe.

The main danger coming from this virus is that it doesn’t necessarily present symptoms in a number of infected individuals while it can have potentially deadly consequences on others. The only way to fight this for the time being, i.e. as long as a vaccine is not available, is to stay at home as much as possible and avoid physical contacts apart from the people with whom we live.

As a pilot it is particularly frustrating to have to stay at home, especially while the weather in the northern hemisphere is getting better and better. So here’s a short list of 5 things you can do to face the lock-down in the most productive way for yourself and your family:

#1 Keep your boat clean and take care of yourself

Most of us are forced to stay at home, but this is not a good reason to spend your day in pajama and slip into laziness mode. To the contrary, make sure you shower, shave (if you happen to have facial hair…), dress up and keep your home a comfortable place for you and your family. This will help you enter into a better mindset, but will also signal to the rest of your family that you have everything under control.

#2 Have a daily routine

Follow a daily schedule and make sure your kids have one too. This helps making the most of this time as you will be able to syncronise your working time with their studying and then have place for fun together.

#3 Remember the 8-8-8 rule

There are 24 hours in a day. The change of habits can challenge the way we organise our day. Make sure you dedicate 8 hours a day for work or other intellectual activity, 8 hours for relaxation or fun and 8 hours for sleep. This will help you avoid accrual of unnecessary stress.

#4 Use the time to refresh theory and use flight sim to test your readiness to act in difficult situations

Time on the ground can be still used for a lot of aeronautical activities. Go back to those parts of your training which you like the least (mine is airlaw, I have to admit) and refresh them. Also if you have a flight sim on your laptop (and I am positive most of you do), simulate difficult situations like gusty winds or system failures.

#5 Read some good aviation book

Here are my favourites:

  1. A Gift of Wings – Richard Bach
  2. Flying the Knife Edge: New Guinea Bush Pilot – Matt McLaughlin
  3. Better Aerobatics – Alan Cassidy

Stay safe!