Tag Archives: licence

All finished up

Well, it’s about time for a new entry here.
As you probably guessed from the title, I’m now done with all my training.
So what happen since my last post:
After I finished all the theory examinations, I still had to take some flight training and two check rides. While I did do the theory in England I decided to go with Iceland for the flight training, simply because it is way cheaper and I had a good feeling about the flight school.
As you probably know, Iceland is pretty far up north, and it was still winter when I got there. Doesn’t take a genius to figure that the weather could be rather challenging.
And indeed challenging it was.
The flight school told me I’d have to plan for about 4 weeks to complete the training, so that’s what I planned for, booked the flights and accommodation accordingly.
Flight training was planned to consist of 10 hours single engine IFR flying and 10 hours multi engine VFR and IFR (5 hours each).
So the first week went pretty well. The weather was fairly cooperative and I had one flight instructor assigned who flew with me. Therefore all the single engine stuff was no problem and completed in a couple of days. One day we had to go through a layer of clouds right after take off and picked up some ice. But as soon as we broke through it on top the sun was burning it off faster than you’d believe. Same picture on the approach, except no sun this time so we had to land with quite a bit of ice built up on the wings. After we parked the plane there were still about 1.5 centimeters (about 1/2 inch) of ice on all leading edges.
Then the weather decided to become crappy. Nothing to worry yet, still got 5 hours of IFR on the multi engine to fly after all. And that plane had a de-icing system installed so no worrying about icing any more.
But then, just about one week into my flight training, Murphy’s Law hit with all it got. First it was so windy that we couldn’t fly, then the wind, after weakening a bit, brought snow with it which fell so dense that the visibility dropped to nearly nothing. Then, my assigned flight instructor had to leave for his other flying job and the school had to find me another instructor (no big deal, but took a day that, guess what, I could have been flying). The next day, the weather was okay but not that good, during preflight inspection I noticed the oil dip stick had separated from the filler neck cap and was lying somewhere in the oil sump (the whole thing is a rather awkward design and it’s kinda difficult to push the dip stick back in and when you force it in it separates from the cap. Seems to happen rather often). According to the mechanic that wouldn’t have been a no-go item but both the instructor and I felt better with having that fixed right away, which took pretty much the rest of the day. But wait, there’s more. The very next day, we were taxiing to the runway for take off, out of nothing the left main gear tire got flat. Well, you can’t take of with that. Heck, you can’t even taxi with that. So we were stuck somewhere on a taxiway, a hundred meters from the active runway and about a mile from our hangar. After we waited for 1 hour (don’t know what took ’em so long) or so the mechanics came with a new tire which they changed right there on the taxiway (took another hour). We finally took of with some 2 hours delay.

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I then finished the remaining training within two or three days which left me with a week remaining for the check rides. Unfortunately Murphy hit again.
It was a Thursday that I was given the paperwork I had to fill out for the ICAA to apply for a check flight. On friday I handed them back to the training administrator because he needed the chief flight instructor to sign them and he would then take them personally to the ICAA. Well, sounds good, but didn’t work out. The chief flight instructor wasn’t in the school that day. So I lost the entire weekend. On Monday the Chief flight instructor finally signed them so the training administrator could take them to the agency. My flight back home was booked for Thursday by the way. So that left me with Tuesday and Wednesday available for the check rides and the weather forecast wasn’t really appealing for both days. As if that wasn’t enough it looked like there was no examiner available for the next two weeks. So I was going crazy trying to figure out how to get the checks done.
Around noon on Tuesday I got the relieving call that they were able to find an examiner and my check flight would be the very same day. So I quickly did the flight planning for the VFR part of the check flight (fortunately I had flown the same route before during the training so I just had to adapt the flight log according to the weather and did not have to measure all the distances and course directions), walked to the airport, jumped in the plane (did the preflight inspection first of course) and flew over to Reykjavik to pick up the examiner. As luck would have it our departure was delayed for another hour because the examiner lost a tooth during lunch which he had to get fixed first. Turned out that during this our the weather cleared out nicely so that the VFR portion of the check was no problem at all anymore and it turned out to be one of the nicest flights with the low standing sun shining over snow covered mountains but melted away in the lower terrain with the ocean always in sight, a couple of big clouds standing around us but none in your way.
After we were done with the VFR flight and all the maneuvers we landed at our planned destination and took a break. I took some photos (see below) and the instructor who was riding shotgun filed an IFR flight plan for our return flight to Reykjavik.
The flight went smooth, no weather problems or anything, luckily, so that just after 7pm we kissed the concrete runway in Reykjavik and I had passed my final CPL ME/IR check rides with just one day left before my departure back home.

The good thing about Iceland is that there are not many people and even less pilots, so the civil aviation agency is pretty quick in processing paperwork. My examiner took all the paperwork to the ICAA (which is located in Reykjavik) the next morning and I was able to pick up my brand new license the same day.
So I figured if I have to got to Reykjavik to pick up my license why no spend the whole day there and walk around the city. And that’s what I did. I took the bus to Reykjavik and spent the day exploring the city. At some point in the afternoon I went to the ICAA and picked up my license.
Turns out it was good that I had the check flight the day before because the weather was horrible the entire day. Low clouds with rain showers and gusty winds would have made the flights at least difficult if not impossible. But it was a nice day in the city after weeks spent mostly in my hotel room and the cockpit of an airplane (well, I didn’t mind so much the latter but the former got kinda annoying).

Having the CPL complete, that left only one thing to still be done: the Multi-Crew-Coordination training, or MCC.
That’s a ten day course teaching you how the work is split between both of the pilots in airplanes flown by two pilots (basically all airliners).
It consists of a theory portion teaching you the psychological aspects, how people behave in a crew environment, how to talk with each other (or how not to) and stuff like that. But the main portion is actually flying with another pilot. Not in a real airplane though, it’s just a simulator. 20 hours of Sim training are split into 10 hours as captain and 10 hours as co-pilot.
It’s not really that complicated, just very different to all the flying I had done prior to this course where I was the sole Pilot, some hours with a flight instructor or another pilot as passenger but it was always me flying. And now you suddenly share tasks, which takes some getting used to.
But I had a good time, met a couple cool people with diverse backgrounds.

So now instead of staring at the computer screen to learn stuff for examinations I’m staring at the screen searching the internet for jobs.
Who knows what will happen next, when and where I’ll find my first flying job.

Until next time…

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One step closer…

…to finishing my license.

But let’s keep things in sequence.
Like I wrote in my last post, in December I attended this two week class room course that is part of the theory course I’m doing. A little over two weeks ago, I went back to england to take the exams. And today I finally had the results in my mail. And luckily I passed them all, keeping my 100% first time pass rate and average score of 94%. That’s better than I ever expected them to be and it sure would not have been possible without the amazing course materials, manuals and software and of course the teachers from Bristol Groundschool. If you should find yourself in the situation to need to do the european JAR/EASA ATPL examinations, I can highly recommend this place. The support is almost instantly and the teacher really know their stuff. It’s still a lot of work but there’s probably no better place to do it.

Now, with having all the ground work done
it’s time again to have some fun,
for the planes to take me higher
up there, in the land of fire
most of the time, though, it is snowing,
can you guess where I’ll be going?

Cheers

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good news and bad news

Hi all,

so the bad news are, that I got my private pilot licence taken away 😦

But the good news is, that it got replaced with a COMMERCIAL pilot licence 🙂

So from now on I am allowed to fly mulit-engine airplanes and get paid for it.

Up next is either the commercial single-engine add-on or the sea-plane rating, we’ll see. But from now on it’s fun, whereas the last couple of days were really hard work.

Maybe I’ll upload a few new pics or even videos soon.

‘Till then, take care.

Talk to you soon.

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Lunch in Savannah

Hi all,

a lot of flying was going on the last couple of days. Most of it longer trips as I need to build cross-country PIC (Pilot in command) time and some hood time. Hood time means I’m flying with limited vision. I cannot look out of the window for outside reference but only focus on the instruments as I would when flying in clouds.

So for that purpose my instructor and me were flying to Savannah, Georgia, th other day. I have no pics of the flight itself as I was not allowed to look out of the window and I was busy with flying the plane. But I have pictures from Savannah which I want to share with you.
As we landed in Savannah there were a squadron of F-18 parked at the general aviation terminal.
F-18

We got a crew car, as they call it. It’s a car you can get from the FBO for free (!!). So we drove to downtown Savannah to look for some place to have lunch at.
driving to savannah

After we had lunch in a little fish restaurant we walked along river street which is the old part of Savannah.
sav1

sav2

sav3

sav4

sav5

sav6

Afterwards we went back to the airport. On the other side of the Airport just across the runways is Gulfstream located. Gulfstream is a manufacturer of noble Businessjets. The new Gulfstream G650 is currently the fastest civil airplane in the world. It’s maximum cruising speed is 92,5% of the speed of sound.
gulfstream facility

On our way to the runway I saw this FedEx B727 awaiting its next flight.
FedEx B727

And just before we got our takeoff clearance this Gulfstream G500 departed from the same runwayscuba diving.
GV G500

GV G500_2

That’s it for now. Hope you like the photos and you can leave a comment if you would like to.

I have more photos from the last days trips but I need a more time to prepare them and besides that I have IFR stuff to study.

Talk to you soon.

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Ready for take off

So finally it’s all starting off.

Not only this blog is now launching after I was thinking about blogging for quite a long time, also my flight training for the commercial pilot licence will start in a few weeks.

So, this is the plan:

After looking around for the best way to go and the best place for doing the flight training I decided to go with a flight instructor in Florida, USA. I am going to do initial PPL  (which stands for Private pilot licence) and IR training (which means flying without visual reference to the terrain outside and trust only the instruments inside the cockpit) there. After passing the flight examination for PPL and IR I need to build quite a bit of flight time as there are 250 hours total flight time needed to continue with CPL (Commercial pilot Licence) training. But after finishing PPL and IR training I will only have somewhat over 100-120 hours. So I will still need another 130 hours or so. That will be done by renting a plane and just flying around after what I will continue with CPL training. I will do that in Florida again with the same flight instructor as the PPL and IR training. CPL training will be flown on multi engine aircraft so I can get the multi engine rating as well in one go.

So this is the plan for the next few months. Once I have the US CPL/IR/ME I will return to Europe and convert the US licence to a european one. For the theoretical part I consider attending the Bristol Groundschool. As for the practical part I’m not sure yet which flight school to choose. I’ll make that decision when it’s time to do so.

Right now I am making the final arrangements.

I will post the next blog entry either shortly before leaving germany or when I arrived in Florida.

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