Hopefully helpful writings of a career minded pilot, working through the ratings in a Part 61 school while still managing to eat and find time to sleep and work.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Anxiety flying dreams...am I alone in this?

Well, the answer is no, because of this post by Aviatrix from Cockpit Conversation (highly recommended). They are just about garunteed before every flight I go on at this point. I attribute this to being on the brink of being signed off to take the instrument checkride. My head is immersed in the Jeppesen instrument commercial book, and Michael Hayes' Instrument Oral Exam Guide. I'm not a numbers person, I'm more of a fingerpaint person, so I'm sure cramming all this math and numbers is causing some synaptical revolt in the form of weird dreams and nightmares. Here are some themes and plots that I can remember in no particular order:

-Driving the plane down a road. This happens a lot. either because i'm not supposed to be flying, or after a forced landing of some sort. Just about every dream i'm taxiing down a street at some point.

-Constantly behind the airplane, messing up, feeling very confused. Well, this one goes without saying almost. Its the crux of all these dreams. Its a horrible feeling, and sometimes transfers to the cockpit in real life. Read on below.

-One of the ladies behind the desk at the club won't give me the keys and the book to the plane. She says I've screwed up too much and I'm not in any condition to fly!

-Taxiing onto the active without getting clearance, realizing that I didn't even talk to ground to get clearance to taxi! This one happens often as well.

-Not being able to see out over the dash. OK, this one happens in real life, but on purpose. I like to sit low during foggle fun time - it's just easier on the neck. In my dream though I'm unable to strain above to look out. Anxiety maxed out!!

-And finally, the dream I had last night: Another instructor and I who I don't work with often are in a lesson. The lesson is taking place in a large shower. The shower is on, (we are clothed,) and the faucet is acting as the throttle (but of course...) This shower is in the middle of a small corner store supermarket. Out the window I can see the road that I'm driving the plane down...I pull the mixture, the water and the plane stops, I get out, and wonder why I had my clothes on in the shower.

So, the transference I spoke of above has never happened before. Today, however, it did. I attribute this to a few things. First, too much caffeine. Second, that AI failure. Also, despite having ~50 hours in a P28A Warrior only 4 or so of them are solo. It caused me to be extra careful, follow checklists thoroughly, check everything twice, and be super professional. of course the flight went without a hitch, and while it was nice to look back and self criticize on how happy i was with my performance, i'd prefer it not because i was anxious. next time...

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