Bright and early Saturday morning, showed up for a 7am lesson with the CFI who is looking after my training now that my normal instructor has gone into self-imposed exile for awhile to concentrate on family, ATPLs, work, life, etc.
As far as the syllabus goes, I should be up to Engine Failures in the Circuit and Engine Failure After Takeoff but we decided to do circuits. One step forward, one step back. Thing about switching instructors, is there is always a certain amount of repetition as they want to assess for themselves where you are and where they think you need work. Would be nice if that didn’t equal money out of my pocket, but its understandable.
The irony here is that, at least for me, when flying with a new instructor, every opportunity to make a mistake or misinterpret something asserts itself and the need for reviewing circuits becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. The extra mental workload of having a new person with a different way of doing things just makes everything that much more difficult.
As an example: previous instructor preferred a much lower nose attitude on takeoff, and gentler banks on the climbing turn. Right away, the CFI wants a slightly higher attitude, different reference points, etc. Suddenly my mental template over the whole process has shifted and each task I previously took as automatic suddenly had to be thought through and processed against that new overlay. A bit like driving stick shift for the first time after being used to automatic.
I think this may be a good thing. It is important, particularly in circuits, to be able to deal with unforeseen circumstances. So the point here is NOT that the new instructor threw me off my game, but that I have added one more data point – one more distraction in the circuit that I know how to deal with. Next time, I will have thought this all over and I will be ready with the new attitudes, angles, speeds, order of operations, etc.
I feel like I am going to be ready to solo maybe within the next 3 lessons or so, which is both terrifying and exciting! I have nearly completed the syllabus, and have almost 16 hours in. As I’ve said before, only repetition and frequency are going to make a difference here, otherwise I will have the same 1 hour, 25 times (as opposed to 25 hours) and no way could I consider going solo.
I wish I could afford to just take a couple of weeks off and do an uninterrupted stretch of training. But, I think things are moving along and hoping that now I am with the CFI, and its his only job (not a weekend side gig), that there must be some light at the end of the tunnel!