the pilot "swagger"

Earl Williams

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While I was training for my PPL, and going through the typical frustrations of training, a friend of mine (who flies for American) told me "hey, we all went through what you're going through, and all had those times when we didn't think it would EVER "come together", but ONE DAY it WILL come together, and you'll feel that pilot "swagger".

I knew what he was implying when he reffered to this "swagger". He said he started feeling his sometime during his Instrument training. Not a cocky, or arrogant, swagger...just a confidence that he was starting to finally see the big picture, and was at the point that he was in complete control in the air (as much as he could be).

The closest I've come to having any kind of swagger was when I passed my Private checkride. Yet, I knew it wasn't the swagger he was referring to...more a tremendous feeling of accomplishment. And six months after my checkride, I still feel more comfortable having my Instructor (and good friend) in the right seat when I'm out flying recreationally. So, still no swagger...not even close.

As I start working towards my Instrument rating, I'm looking forward to honing my piloting skills and becoming a more precise pilot. Do I expect to develop this swagger during my instrument training...well, probably not. Maybe I'll feel it after I pass my Instrument checkride...who knows. Or, maybe I'll really NEVER have this swagger, even if I'm fortunate enough to fly for a living, as I know that aviation is a continual lesson in humility.

My question is...at what point during your training, or career as a pilot, did you notice your "pilot swagger". Or maybe you, like me, have yet to develop it. And maybe another question...is it GOOD to have this swagger?

Thanks for your time, and replies...and fly safe!

-Earl
 

RJFlyer

Wastin' time...
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a few
Well, it's really just a limp... :)
 

Earl Williams

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LOL!...kind of like the "shaking leg" syndrome I hear about from some freight pilots that have had to fly in pretty nasty weather!
 

Rvrrat

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Rj ---LOL!!!

Earl,
A fair portion of the "swagger" factor comes from having overcome a challenge or mastering a skill.

The first feeling of "swagger" factor I felt was about 6 months after my private pilot checkride. I was operating a C-150 out of an 1800 ft turf field lined with oak trees (this compared to most of my training from a paved runway in a more open (no obstacles) environment. It was intimedating. Everything went great proving to me that all the short & soft takeoffs & landings were of value and if I did things the same way I trained for them the outcome would not be in doubt provided I kept the aircraft's and my own limitations in mind. I wound up flying some fantastic flights from that little field later in the fall, taking in the overwhelming sights of the fall "colors" from a new vantage point to cement the memory. That was almost 20 years ago.

Another instance would be taking the longest (at that time) cross country flight to OSH for the EAA fly-in. Awesome experience from initial start-up to finishing backing the plane into the hanger on return.

A bit more recently ( 5 years ago) I gained another sense of that "swagger" feeling after shooting a series of approaches in actual instrument conditions; got the leans, had the devilsome time holding altitudes, heading wandering, chasing the needles, all the stuff one is NOT supposed to do on the first couple of apps. I concentrated on the instruments just like I was taught and things started settling down. The last of the six approaches went better than I had done on the checkride. :)

I guess the question to ask is what do you want from your flying, what's your goal?

All the best,
Rvr
 
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Boeingman

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A lot
Isn't it caused by Hemorrhoids (sp) from all the sitting?
 
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