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Aging Gracefully

We can deal with aging and flying by being an active participant in the process. Explore the effects of aging on pilot performance and how to keep flying safely as we grow older.

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Slowing DownSlowing Down

Safety Spotlight: Aging Gracefully

We can do a lot to hold it off, but most of us eventually reach a point where it makes sense to start scaling back our flying. It may be as simple as changing the kind of flying we do.

Take it Easy

You may decide that instrument weather flying no longer holds the same appeal as it did years ago, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Becoming a so-called “fair weather pilot” can mean a fond reunion with the best parts flying has to offer. Another way to keep enjoying flying is to move into a slower or less complex aircraft. Keep in mind, however, that there’s a learning curve associated with any new type, particularly if you’ve been flying one aircraft exclusively for many years. Here are some additional ideas to consider:

  • Take shorter flights overall
  • Plan shorter cross-country legs (also good for your bladder and kidneys)
  • Give yourself more time to complete flights
  • Take a co-pilot for backup on IFR flights
  • Steer clear of busy airspace
  • Do pattern work at less busy times
  • Raise personal minimums to match current proficiency and skills
  • Fly when the air is smooth
Give yourself more time to complete flights.

Transitioning to Other Airplanes: Tempting Fate

This video from the Transitioning to other Airplanes online course, explores why stepping down to a smaller aircraft can be trickier than expected.

Slowing Down

In this video, pilots sum up how they approach scaling back.