How to Gain Confidence in your Cross Country Flying
A lack of confidence with cross-country flying is something that can be overcome. First you need to identify why you might be lacking confidence.
To discover what your under confidence might be about is a great start. Having this awareness will really help you on your steps to having great cross country confidence.
Some examples are:
- Fear of landing out
- Not really understanding your kit
- Not trusting your instruments
- Not having confidence in knowing what height you are at when you get low
- Fear of not being able to see others gliders
- Fear of thermalling with other gliders
- The initial feeling when you leave the airfield and break those strings.
- Wondering how you can pee, and keeping hydrated while in the air for long periods of time.
- Not having a crew
- Not knowing what route to take - getting stuck in the right or wrong.
- Feeling like a failure if you land out
The list is endless, and many people have many different fears or under confidences when it comes to going cross country.
The best cross country pilots are those who treat cross country just like riding a bike or driving a car. We don't mean the fastest pilots, or competition pilots, just the pilots who are quietly enjoying their flying for themselves, because they just love it!
So how do you know you LOVE cross-country?
We think the ultimate test is to go cross-country with another experienced pilot first. Figure out whether it is for you...
You will soon know whether you are loving it, or the opposite.
Once you have this ultimate test complete, then it's time to go solo.
The important thing is that whatever you feel is holding you back, it won't hold you back forever.
Gaining faith and courage when it comes to going cross-country will allow you push past your fears and really experience the thrilling emotions on the other side.
Quite often those flights that we have had some fear over, or found challenging, are the ones that stick in our memory. When we look back at these flights, we look back with a sense of achievement and pride (even if we ended up landing out!)
The point is every flight you should treat as a learning curve. Everyday is different. To experience the thrill and excitement that cross-country flight offers, you must push past your fears. Be bold and take that leap... gain courage, take a deep breathe, and leave that thermal early to see if a better one lies ahead... leave the comfort of your airfield and see what lies beyond..
If you do land-out its all part of learning.. No failure is had.. simply more data about weather and conditions added to your existing collection.
A great way to learn how to have more fun with cross-country flying!
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