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PCOM Section 1 insert - 'Currency'


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Flying in most forms is a series of linked tasks, some complex but most fairly straightforward. Bringing them all together in a manner that flows in something close to the right order provides us with the best chance of a safe and satisfying flight. Getting it wrong can mean the reverse. The secret ingredient is familiarity born of intimacy with the task, something we call ‘currency’.

Whilst on the ground it’s tempting to believe that we are fully aware and connected to our 'flying selves'. Sometimes being grounded for a week leaves you feeling out of touch, at other times well connected, even after a longer break. For reasons that we don't fully understand, we are often not the best judge of our personal current state of competence - any of us. It’s a human thing.

Preparation - the foundation stone of safety.

So what can we do to offset the downside of this 'out of currency’ condition?

Maintaining a tactile contact with your kit and familiarity with flying related procedures during downtime relieves pressure from your first couple of hours in the air.

Regular engine runs keep components lubricated; starting drills and ground running procedures fresh in the mind. Seals are moistened, leaks spotted and cracks in exhausts and elsewhere fixed. You have time to inspect, clean and polish - if faults and damage are to surface this is the very best time for them to do so wouldn't you say?

Kiting skills are fundamental to a smooth and safe launch, regular session enable you to inspect and air your wing and remain in touch with its handling. As you hit full power and blow away the cobwebs will you be trusting to fate that nothing goes wrong, or will you feel ready for anything? Most of us sit somewhere between the two ends of that state of mind.

A calm mind well prepared for the worst is going to contribute strongly to a safe and enjoyable flight. What's more, when the instructor has a 'currency chat' with you and asks the questions suggested below, you will have concise and correct answers without long pauses and ‘Errrrs’?. An ‘Errr’ on the ground without pressure will probably mean a huge question mark in the air when under pressure.

Being well prepared you won't be 'winging it' - you will know; what better frame of mind can there be in which to face the breeze and take to the air?

The Paramotor Club and Currency

Your CFI and any instructor or club supervisory pilot has a responsibility, a duty of care to those who use and are present at the club's fields. To ensure that this duty is upheld we require that pilots keep a record of their flights and bring this with them when they come to fly. Should you forget this record, your word in front of a witness will normally be sufficient to confirm your last flight details.

14 Days or greater without flying.

A short brief with an instructor or the duty pilot about your planned flight. A 'from memory' recap of several random emergency procedures from the TPG.

28 Days or greater without flying.

A brief with an instructor about your planned flight, a 'from memory' recap of all emergency procedures defined in TPG. Observation of flight preparations, kiting, launch and landing.

Please remember that Instructors and Mentors are there to help you in any way they can. If there are clear indications that the pilot is ill-prepared for flight, permission to fly from the club's fields may be withheld.

If this occurs it must be understood that there is no insinuation that the pilot is anything other than normally competent. It is merely held that in the judgement of the Instructor or Mentor, on this occasion the pilot needs time to better prepare himself for flight.

ALL pilots, however experienced need to consider their currency and the levels of activity they are exposing themselves to. During low personal currency avoid challenging weather, difficult tasks and unfamiliar activities and maneuvers. Work up to them slowly and restore your skills to their previous levels before testing them. In this way you will remain inside your comfort zone and extract the maximum enjoyment from your flying.

Note: These currency requirements may be modified in the light of experience and feedback, they are a starting point.[/

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