Nobody wants not to fly, but these are extraordinary times. With so many of us stuck at home, here are five things that you absolutely have to do with your time:
5. Flight Sims: Our personal fave is Infinite Flight, a game for your iPhone that is hyper-realistic both in terms of the imagery and the flight behavior. If you’re on your PC, well, X-Plane is the bomb. Some of the user-made models defy even pilots to easily tell the difference between them and actual planes. And if you’re lucky enough to have one of these bad boys at home, the Redbird desktop simulator known as The Jay, well, it’s the next best thing to the real McCoy.
4. Check out Plane & Pilot’s Photo Contest Winners. We were blown away by the incredible images readers like you submitted. Amazing, gotta-see-it-to-believe-it stuff and a great way to pass the time while vicariously going amazing places.
3. Brush up on your skills. There are numerous great online learning products you could download and with which you could spend time getting up close and personal with zero risk of infection. Our recommendations? Sporty’s new Instrument rating course. Even if you already have your IFR ticket, it’s great brush-up stuff. Other favorites of ours, though we admit some bias, are recent books from ASA by Plane & Pilot contributors LeRoy Cook, Beyond Flight Training, and Jason Blair, An Aviator’s Field Guide to Buying An Airplane.
2. Read that guilty-pleasure aviation book you’ve been meaning to crack. Our suggestions: the bible of by-the-seat-of-your-pants flying, Stick & Rudder by Wolfgang Langewiesche; the beautiful and elegiac Wind, Sand and Stars, by Antoine de St. Exupery; the quirky and thought-provoking novel Illusions by Richard Bach; the inspirational Fly Girls, the story of five daring women flying pioneers, by Keith O’Brien; and the remarkable Wild Blue, the story of the intrepid pilots who flew the B-24 in World War II, by Stephen E. Ambrose.
1. Sneak out and go flying solo. Okay, we didn’t just say that. But if you do, please be careful out there, and be sure to clean the plane you’re flying before you take off and after you land. And don’t forget to fly smart. After all, catching the virus from your nav/comm is way less of a risk than ground-looping in a crosswind.
Whatever you wind up doing, have fun and keep the spirit of flying alive, even if circumstances beyond our control keep us away from the actual airport.