Quantcast Physical/Psychological Factors - P-330_wch50023


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To help you understand something of the physical and psychological factors affecting your
training, the remainder of this chapter will be devoted to paraphrasing our flight surgeon's
thoughts on the matter.
Physical ease and relaxation while flying makes the difference between the pilot flying the
plane and the plane flying the pilot. A proper sense of "feel" of the aircraft is essential. Just as a
good horseman must be sensitive to the movements of his mount, so must the aviator be sensitive
to the movements of the airplane. This innate sense cannot be achieved in any other way than by
the proper relaxation of all the body muscles and light touch on the aircraft's controls. The art of
being relaxed in an airplane involves an awareness of what your body and mind are doing. A
natural reaction to the strange environment or unusual situation is the age-old aviator tendency to
"pucker" in a tight situation. Be alert for involuntary tensing of the muscles and you will find
you quickly develop that sought-after "feel" and avoid the hard-to-break habit of mechanical
flying. An important aspect of developing this sense of "feel" is knowing what you are going to
do at all times and be prepared for the next evolution in your flight training. This is nothing
more than knowing your PROCEDURES. Remember the panic in your school days when you
were handed a test and it suddenly dawned on you that you had not studied, or what you had
studied was not on the test?
2.  Mental attitude is a very essential element to your relaxation in an aircraft. It affects your
nervous system and, if allowed to continue in an unhealthy trend, can result in actual physical
incapacitation.  Therefore, its significance should be fully appreciated.  As with physical
handicaps, any mental distraction will also detract from the full use of your required senses. A
poor mental attitude will interfere with your ability to concentrate, learn, and apply your
knowledge. In turn, a good or positive mental attitude will increase your learning capacity and
will make your flight training a pleasure rather than an unpleasant job.
If for any reason you find yourself "flying more, and enjoying it less," whether from some
known cause or not, discuss it with your flight instructor or unit leader. Another aid to acquiring
a positive mental attitude, after you have satisfied yourself that it is not an outside problem
affecting you mentally, is to find some healthy diversion that will get your mind away from the
subject of flying for a time. The base as well as the local area offers much in the way of
recreational opportunities and diversions.
Mental alertness on the pilot's part has a direct bearing upon safety of flight as well as
contributing significantly to the learning process. Remember that the training areas utilized are
not very large and are used by many aircraft. Being constantly on the alert while flying may
save your life and that of one of your squadron mates. Mental laziness is the constant enemy of
every aviator. So, as you progress through flight training, plan ahead and try to anticipate all
possible contingencies that could affect the operation of your aircraft. Proper planning not only
refers to the environment around you but also the aircraft in which you are sitting. Check your
engine instruments from time to time to ensure that all is well up front. In other words, train
yourself to be alert to all facets of your flight rather than concentrating on the problem of the

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