I realized I’ve made certain changes to my lifestyle and mindset after starting private pilot training. I like to mention a few today:
Every pilot must get a medical check at various periods, depending on the type of flying they like to do. For example, captains flying Boeing 777 passenger airlines, go see a doctor very 6 or 12 months (depending on if they are under or over 40yrs old). For average Jose pilots like me, a 3rd class medical requires visiting the doctor every 5 years if you are under 40yrs and every 2 years if you are over 40yrs. I have to see a doctor every 2 years.
The visit contains a bunch of checks – similar to car dealers 120-point checks for their certified cars. We go thru blood pressure, sleep, mental, physical, eye, dexterity, hearing, you name it checks.
For me, blood pressure was a risky area so I worked 2months to improve my blood pressure. I lost ~10lbs by eating healthy and less portions than I actually need. I saw my PCP for consultation and started medication. I started exercising. I pay attention to my sleep quality. I reduced alcohol intake. I got my certificate already and technically I can stop doing all the healthy things I mentioned for the next 1.5 years until it is time to go see the doctor again. But I’m continuing these healthy activities because I also feel better!
If you are stopped for alcohol test and refuse to take teh test, you will lose your license. If you get a DUI, you will lose your pilot license. Worst, if you are a career pilot and get a DUI, your career will be over and you will have to find another line of work. (I’m rephrasing the part losing your license, but FAA pays special attention to alcohol/drugs and may deny, suspend, revoke your license. It is very serious business.)
I’m now very careful about my alcohol consumption when I’m outside. If I think I will drink more than allowed amount, I plan for transportation back home.
No matter what, you keep flying the plane:
This is from my instructor Mats. He told me in all situations including emergency or even hopeless situations, you keep flying the airplane and keep flying the plane. Everything else is secondary. Even you know you are going crash, you still keep flying until plane comes to a halt in one way or other.
I apply this to my life. Life always have problems otherwise it would be boring. Since starting flight training, I now keep thinking I have to keep flying the airplane. So I keep working on the problems and keep trying solution after solution. Do I have thoughts about giving up, that I would never accomplish what I want to do? Does it look difficult and impossible? Yes, but I keep flying the plane and eventually get to where I want to. Alive and in one piece 🙂
So no matter what, keep flying the plane.