Flying well isn’t easy, but it can be made a lot easier if you have had proper training for the task at hand. We got that lesson on a recent trip to Kenya to train the pilots of the Kenya Wildlife Service. These pilots are charged with helping to protect Kenya’s number one asset and source of income, their wildlife. We were there, along with Patty Wagstaff and Rich Sugden, as part of a Lindbergh Foundation project in behalf of our environment. Patty and Rich were doing the flight instruction and we were providing the ground instruction. All the pilots agreed that the instruction they received from the four of us made their job easier. Why so? These pilots are flying low-altitude ground reference maneuvers in Huskies and Super Cubs for a living, and under the Kenyan system they had never had any formal training in them. Our joint instruction provided them the insight and skills to make their work a lot easier—and safer.
Many of the concepts and ground reference and performance maneuvers the Kenya Wildlife Service pilots found helpful are required for the U.S. Commercial Pilot Certificate. Many pilots have wondered why our Commercial Pilot Certificate requires them. Our work with the Kenya pilots made it clear. The knowledge and the skills learned from the maneuvers help you smoothly and safely put the airplane where you need to. You gain finesse, and become the obvious master of the airplane.
If you don’t yet have your Commercial Pilot Certificate you might consider getting one. It will actually make your flying easier and a lot smoother. And besides, it’s a lot of fun! But most important of all—your passengers will appreciate it.