Another new year is nearly here, which means it’s time to start making resolutions and focus on plans for 2022. As a pilot, setting goals is a great way to motivate yourself to try new things, enhance your skills, and grow your passion for aviation in the coming year.
Not sure what aviation-related New Year’s resolutions to add to your list? We have a few ideas to help you get off the ground:
The more you fly, the more proficient you will become, and the safer you’ll be in the skies! If life has gotten in the way lately, make it one of your 2022 goals to fly more consistently. Have fun with it by scheduling a weekly meet-up with other pilot friends for breakfast or lunch, attending fly-ins and airshows, and making a list of “must visit” destinations in 2022. Another great way to sharpen your skills and build proficiency is by participating in the FAA’s WINGS Pilot Proficiency Program. You can earn WINGS credit (which counts towards a flight review) by completing various online courses, in-person seminars, and webinars.
If it’s been a long time since your last flight, why not make 2022 the year you knock off the rust and get back in the left seat? Check out AOPA’s Rusty Pilot program to get started, then schedule some time with a flight instructor to return to the skies safely. You’ll be glad you did!
Ready to give your airplane a fresh start in the new year? Consider investing in performance-boosting upgrades such as an aircraft propeller conversion. We’ve heard many pilots say they feel like they’re flying an entirely new airplane after a Top Prop propeller conversion! Other popular aircraft mods include retrofit glass-panel avionics, aircraft engine preheat systems, and floats or skis. Choosing high-quality aircraft modifications can help you get the most out of your airplane, making every flight that much more enjoyable.
The best pilots are always expanding their aviation knowledge. Think about the type of flying you want to do this year. What type of aircraft do you want to fly? Where do you want to go? If you haven’t already, consider earning your instrument rating, which is one of the most challenging and valuable ratings you can earn. You could also look into adding on a multi-engine rating, seaplane rating, or tailwheel endorsement.
Maybe you’re interested in building your own kitplane. There are many webinars and in-person workshops you can attend to start the process. Or, maybe you want to branch out into backcountry aviation. In that case, you may wish to take a mountain flying course or survival class. No matter what additional training, rating, or endorsement you decide to pursue this year, continuing to learn will help you become a more skilled, safe, and confident pilot.
The joy of flying is meant to be shared with others. This year, challenge yourself to introduce others to aviation and mentor someone in their flying journey. You could start by giving a short introductory flight to a friend or family member, or volunteering for the Young Eagles program to help inspire and spark an interest in flying among younger generations. Demonstrating the fun and freedom of flight can make a big difference in keeping general aviation strong!
Flying is rewarding in and of itself, but as a pilot, you have the unique ability to use your talents to help others near and far. This year, look for ways to “pay it forward” by supporting the aviation-related causes that you find meaningful.
There’s a diverse array of aviation organizations to choose from, whether you’re passionate about preserving backcountry airstrips, flying rescue pets, supporting aspiring student pilots, transporting people to medical treatment, or another worthy mission. If you’re interested in putting your flying skills to good use, view the Air Care Alliance’s directory to find organizations currently looking for volunteer pilots.
Happy New Year from all of us at Hartzell Propeller!