Real Answers from Real Pilots

Back in the Saddle

This week I went to Recurrent training to Requal so I could return to the line. I had shoulder surgery in January and after being given a clean bill of health the company schedule my training for the beginning of May. It started with 3 days of ground school (it’s usually 2 but since I hadn’t flown for a while I got an extra day of systems review which I greatly appreciated). I never stress the ground stuff as I’ve always don’t well with the book stuff. I was however stressing sim. First off the sim doesn’t fly like a plane (close but not) but more important I hadn’t touched a plane since December. While 6mos isn’t that long, it’s the longest I’ve gone without touching an airplane since I started with ATP.

Well I’m very happy to report that it really is like riding a bike. It really does come back fast! (guess there really is something to that muscle memory stuff). What was challenging is the procedures. While the flows and flying skills were relatively immediate, my brain was lagging behind. I had studied and knew what to do, it just didn’t “flow” like it should. Good enough to pass successfully but it’s going to take a few turns before I’m back in my groove but that’s fine. The nice thing about the job is we’ve got checklists for everything and well trained FOs so I’ve got plenty of backup.

Very excited to get back to the line. Don’t get me wrong, getting the past few months off and relaxing was nice but as I’ve told you before I LOVE my job and enjoy it immensely. Even more than I enjoy staying home and playing with the cat!


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Welcome back to flying. As somebody that has been out here and there for a six months to a year at a time, I can appreciate what you went through. It took me a few trips to feel normal again.


Congrats on getting back! I’m sure you were itching to get back in to the airplane after all that time. I had a 5 week stint away from flying and felt behind the airplane when I got back so I can imagine how you felt, but yes totally like a bike! Comes back way quicker!