Wow, it’s been a few months since my last post, I hate when that happens. I have a bunch of topics queued up, but for now I’ll quickly get you caught up.
Private pilot checkride
On a gusty Monday June 30, 2014, I passed my private pilot checkride. Wow, what a feeling. I was a little stressed and nervous, but who isn’t for a checkride. Detailed blog to come
I did more of my training in Cessna 172Rs. There are only two at the school and they have been really busy. My first goal was to get checked out in as many models as possible to expand the options I have for scheduling. I also wanted to experience different planes and equipment to help decide what I want to fly more often, and possible what to look at in a club or an eventual purchase. So far N3077M, a Piper Warrior II upgraded to 180HP, is my plane of choice. My current options include C172R, PA28-140, PA28-161. I’m looking to add light sport Flight Design CTLS soon.
The coolest part of being a pilot is being able to share the wonderful experience of flight with your friends and family. Oh, and I found that if I plan flights to arrive around a meal time or happy hour, it’s a lock for the passenger to offer to treat.
Solo water crossing
I flew into Block Island (KBID) once with my instructor during cross-country training. I finally made the trip on my own. The twelve miles between KGON and KBID isn’t really much of a water crossing, but it is such a cool feeling flying over water and landing on an island.
While getting checked out in N569FL, a 1971 Piper Cherokee with hersey bar wings, the instructor (not my usual CFI) asked about spin awareness when I was demonstrating stalls. Then he asked about spin recover and I knew the procedure but I said I haven’t tried it yet. After a little math to understand where our CG was, he demonstrated a few, then I gave it a shot. It wasn’t as scary as I had thought. Sure, seeing the airspeed needle nearly dead and the ground spiraling toward you isn’t a naturally comfortable feeling, but once you understand and practice the recover a few times it’s not so bad. Plus it really helps you understand the plane and the controls even more.
So what’s up next?
I’m continuing to go through the list of friends that want go up. While I’m doing that I’m also trying to build hours and experience of cross-country flights so I can get closer to the 50 hours required for instrument rating. After the checkride prep, I needed to take a little break from the books. I’ll get into the instrument materials soon. Just trying to have some fun before I fry my brain again. I’m also trying to find new airports and new areas to fly to get more comfortable with unfamiliar environments. In the past 3 months I’ve totaled up 21 hours as PIC, 6 as cross-country.
I still continue to just go out and try to stay sharp on the PTS maneuvers (slow flight, stalls, steep turns, various takeoffs and landings). Usually whenever I’m solo since I don’t want to scare off passengers when they see what a full stall looks and feels like.
I thought about trying some glider time, and realized that I have far too many interests and need to limit the list somewhere. So gliders were cut from the list until next year.
Since the spin training, which was limited to just a few spins, I’ve been thinking of getting more upset recovery training. I’m currently looking into the Unusual Attitude/Upset Recovery Course from Executive Flyers in Massachusetts. I had a chat with a competitive aerobatic pilot at a recent safety seminar and he highly recommends the training for all pilots.
Rent, join, buy??
I’m still renting from the fleet at Premier Flight where I did my training. I can usually get a plane anytime I want if I book a week or two in advance, sometimes longer for weekends. Since it’s a school, the priority goes to students and I’m usually limited to a block of 3, maybe 4 hours at a time. That’s barely enough time for a short flight for a meal, or a 60-70 mile cross country trip. I’ve been looking into local clubs and even the possibility of buying a plane to have more flexibility on when I can fly and how long I can be away for. I don’t really need to jump into either. So in the meantime, I’m renting from the school and talking to as many people as I can about ownership and club experiences. If you’re in the CT area and wanna chat, let me know.
Alright, I think you’re all caught up now. I still have a backlog of topics that I’ll get to soon including checkride details, gadget reviews, passenger experiences, and more training experiences.