30 tips for successful cross-country flying
#14: Set goals
Cross-country flying is just like any other aspect of life – if you don’t set any goals, you won’t achieve them.Whereas in real life goals are often vague, in XC flying they are very well defined. The first 100 km flight. The first 150 km FAI triangle, etc. When the pilot is ready for these achieve ments depends on their individual learning journey. And if you don’t immediately achieve that 100 km flight? Then you try again. And again and again.
Of course you need to balance thinking big with a healthy dose of realism. There are some really naturally gifted pilots, like NOVA Team Pilot Christoph Feichtl. In the 2016/17 season he submitted his first crosscountry flight. In 2018/19 season he was already classed as one of the best XC pilots of the world! Others need a little longer to fulfill their goals. NOVA Pilots Team captain Till Gottbrath has been flying since 1986. After flying a 162 km flat triangle in 2008, he set himself the goal of flying 200 km. He achieved this in 2019. Both pilots are rightly pleased with their success, despite the different development tempos.
In short, it doesn’t matter how distant the goal is, the important thing is to have a goal in the first place. Just flying around aimlessly will not get you any further in your pilot development. With patience and diligence it will work out sometime. And once you have achieved your goal, this will motivate you even more to achieve your next one!