Debriefing your flights reinforces learning and spurs comparisons between choices made and those discarded in flight. This in turn leads to conclusions that remain important lessons for the rest of our flying lives. Besides, reliving the fun is…fun.
Even if you were alone up there, debriefing need not be a solitary exercise. With others who were aloft, or even with those who weren’t, recall the day and the many ways it may have changed over time. If you had occasion to fly near other pilots, learn all you can about their decisions and experiences before, during, and after your contact with them. If they went where you did not, hear their tales of adventure or woe and compare them to your own memory of conditions and events.
After flying, on rainy days or whenever you get the chance, take time to share your soaring discoveries. Solicit others’ stories, whether good or bad, stupid or brilliant. Commit to memory any informative details, yours or theirs, no matter how frustrating or embarrassing. (Mistakes are often more educational than proud triumphs.) And never settle for incomplete understanding.
Chew on your uncertainties and do the appropriate research until you come to satisfying conclusions. This is perhaps foremost among the many ways in which soaring can bring us pleasure even on the ground!