The Statistics: In 2006 I had one hundred and thirty-six flights with a total time in the air of one hundred and sixty-three hours. During those flights I had a cumulative altitude gain of one million one hundred and seventeen thousand feet, or just over two hundred and eleven miles. I flew a total of over two thousand miles, with four XC flights of over one hundred miles. I made goal one day during the Flytec Competition – an 80 mile return task with three turnpoints. I flew my personal best distance flight of 116 miles and my longest out and return task of 112 miles. I had my highest altitude flight of over 17000ft in the
Reflecting on last year and reciting the statistics is easy. It’s much harder to set goals for the upcoming year. My primary goals are of course to have fun and be safe. Beyond that I want to accumulate time in the air and distance; not for its own sake, but because it is a fun and exciting way to explore. Finally, I want to continue to improve my flying. My specific goals for improvement this year are:
- When flying competition, begin to achieve some consistency at making goal. An aggressive but realistic goal would be to make goal twice during each of these three Australian comps.
- At all times try to fly more efficiently. This means making efficient use of lift, gliding efficiently, and eliminating waste motion. I want to achieve more balance at turning left and right, become efficient at using practical speed to fly theory, and become more decisive in my course selection strategy.
- Start flying faster. My goal is to improve my average speed over a course from its current value of around 20mph to 25mph. This is aggressive, but still less than the top pilots and realistically achievable.