Tag Archives: ppl

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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A end-of-the-year wrap-up

Hello all,

it’s been a while since my last entry, I know. Reason being is that there was simply nothing to write about. I haven’t been flying since I came back from Florida in early September. I was studying for the remaining six ATPL exams all the time and didn’t really do anything else (nothing aviation related anyway).
The last two weeks I attended the classroom lessons that are part of the distance learing course I’m doing. Now I have a few more weeks before the exams to brush up my knowledge.

After the exams in January there should be more stuff to write about as I will conduct the final flight training required for the FAA to JAR conversion. And once I have my license it hopefully won’t take too long until I find a job. And then there will certainly be more posts here.

Meanwhile you can watch this video that I made of clips that I’ve taken during my SES training last year and during my Beaver flight in August:

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I have not been deedless…

…since I got my CPL in october.

Okay, the first week after my checkride in the Seneca I haven’t done very much. I just needed some days to relax. But at the end of my first week as FAA certified commercial pilot I did something I wanted to do for a long time: I took a ride in a seaplane. And not just a ride; I actually got trained for the multi-engine seaplane add-on for my CPL.
Training aircraft was this STOL Twinbee. Strange looking plane but flies pretty good. Bit heavy on the elevator control but you get used to it. Our first flight wasn’t very spectacular. We took off from one of the hard-surface runways in Flagler, departed to the west and did some airwork. Slow flight, stalls, steep turns, nothing fancy just getting used to the airplanes handling. Back in Flagler we did some touch ‘n’ go’s and practiced some taxiing because it was the first taildragger I’ve ever flown and taxiing around with a Twinbee is everything but easy. But it worked out fairly well so that the next flight could take us out to the lake.
Landing on the water is different but not necessarily more difficult than landing on a hard-surfaced runway (at least that’s how I feel about it). And to make my very first water landing even more challenging there was absolutely no wind that day and the water was like a mirror (so-called glassy water, which has the highest percentage of all seaplane accidents). Looks terrific but makes landing even more interesting. The problem with glassy water is you can’t judge your height above the water just from looking at it. You need a reference point and proper landing technique to touch down safely. But my instructor had decades of seaplane experience, so it wasn’t that big of a deal.
There are other landing techniques for about any water condition someone could think of and the same goes for the take offs.
Additionally (because we were flying a multi-engine aircraft) I had to deal with one engine inoperative. No big difference to land planes there just using the same drills as for the land plane.
The next few days we just practiced take off and landing techniques for glassy water, rough water, and normal conditions; with both engines running and with one inop; idle taxi, step taxi and plow turns; and a cool thing called confined area take off. The advantage of seaplanes is that we don’t have to stick with prepared runways of certain dimensions. Rather we can take the whole lake or river if we need to and if the conditions permit. That allows us to take off in a circular arc if there is not enough space to take off straight ahead. It’s a lot of fun.
Then, after three od four days of training I had my checkride with Jon Brown, owner of the well-known Jack Brown’s Seaplane base and long-time friend of my instructor.
Checkride was no big problem and I enjoyed flying with a man whose name is known by virtually every seaplane pilot.
But that was not the last thing I did flying wise. So far I had only the multi-engine land and sea rating on my commercial. The single-engine rating was only good for my private pilot licence. So it was about time to change that. The next day after my seaplane cheride I started training for the SEL commercial add-on. Not a whole lot of things to do. Just a few new maneuvers I had to learn but nothing really complicated. It took me about four days to get them in and checkride wasn’t even one hour. Pretty easy after all the multi-engine flying. In consequence that left just one thing missing: the singl-engine seaplane rating.
It doesn quite make sense to get first the multi-engine seaplane rating and then go for the single-engine. But so far I could do everything in Flagler. Just for the SES rating I had to go somewhere else which made it easier to put that at the end.
For the SES rating I took the opportunity to do that at no other place than Jack Brown’s Seaplanebase.
They are the oldest and best known seaplane training facility in the United States so I had sort of no other choice than to train with them. And I don’t regret it at all.
They use old Piper J-3 Cub on Aqua 1500 straight floats for their training. The planes have no electric system what so ever. Only electricity on board is a little 9V battery for the intercom. And maybe the cell phone in your pocket. Everything else is mechanic. No electric instruments, no gyros, no GPS, no radios no generator and, most important, no starter!! That means you have to hand prop it (the instructors do that for you). Only instruments are a tachometer, two other engine instruments, airspeed indicator, altimeter and a magnetic compass. That’s it. That’s all you get, and that’s all you really need. It’s the pure joy of flying. The famous stick and rudder experience of a Piper Cub. Flying the Cub on float was the best experience I’ve ever had, it was heck of a lot of fun. I never understood what people meant when they were talking about the Cub. Now I know. Unfortunately, the course only includes 5 hours of training even though I would have loved to fly more. It’s been only three days since I had my checkride in it and I already miss the cute little yellow plane. That was the first but definitely not the last time I flew a Cub.
Because I already had the MES rating I wasn’t totally new to the principles of water flying (there are not that much differences between single and multi engine seaplanes. They all follow the same principles, just how you fly them is a bit different) and therefore I could enjoy the flying more than I could have if it would have been my first time in a seaplane.
To fly such a great plane and an icon of aviation history was truly the dessert after all the work (even though most of it was fun, it still was really hard work sometimes) I’ve done during the last five months.
Hope to get back there soon to get more time in that great aviation classic.

seaplanebase

CUB_1

CUB_2

CUB_3

seaplanebase and CUB

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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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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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