Flying vs Stress — I.M.S.A.F.E. Checklist

My flying is going just fine, as long as I'm in the wind. I'm starting to have "the right stuff." And feeling pretty confident of my Written Exam too as practice test scores prove.

However, on the ground, life gets in the way of my otherwise short sprint towards the long-coveted Private Pilot license I have well prepared for. Pity too. With less than 2 weeks before my plane leaves for Italy, and me, seeking balance between Private Pilot Written Exam studies (for which I was getting consistent 80%-100% on practice tests), and very demanding work pressures and impossible , and the wife beckoning my return home to Italy after 7 months a fugitive, had been taking its toll.

Although this seems to strike against my previous blog of Icarus ambition and perseverance, and I shouldn't let it get to me, still, time and logistics are what they are, and the I.M.S.A.F.E. checklist dictates I should not fly with undue stress. And that applies to the practice checkrides, written exam, and the final checkride. Why muff it? Regret?

The deciding factor for me was the enjoyment.... It should be fun. However, trying to cram it all in the remaining few precious days I have (scheduling being yet another factor), has served only to bring flying, an activity that brings me fun and exhilaration, down to the level of pressure of final exams like some school kid.

I don't think so. I fly for fun. Not money, not anything else. I was not born with a silver spoon, married businessman with obligations, and my flight training has already suffered many long delays over the years. So why dilute my otherwise sacred flying fun time?

So be it. Alas, this time "parting is such sweet sorrow" as I am forced with great reluctance to once again bid farewell to another flight school, another (FAR BETTER instructor), and Tampa Florida, till my next opportunity.

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IMSAFE Checklist:

- Illness - Suffering from any illness or symptom of an illness which might affect them in flight?
- Medication - Currently taking any drugs (prescription or over-the-counter)?
- Stress - Psychological or emotional factors which might affect performance?
- Alcohol - Alcohol consumption within the last 8 to 24 hours?
- Fatigue - Insufficient sleep and rest in the recent past?
- Eating - Insufficiently nourished?