Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Livin' the dream

Well, I did it! I have officially packed about 3 years of flight training into less than 8 months!

This morning went well---I don't know that I got to demonstrate very much to the examiner, because he's all about showing you how to do stuff his way. The oral was about an hour, and he was on the phone with a fellow Continental pilot for a good 20 minutes of it. Very basic.

We split the flight up into two parts: the maneuvers in a C-172R, and one takeoff and landing to demonstrate proficiency in a complex airplane using a C-172RG. The flight did have an interesting moment; thinking that it wasn't enough that I'd earned my spin endorsement (see previous blog post) in an aerobatic Decathlon airplane, he proceeded to spin me not once, not twice, but three times from about 2,500 feet.

Is that the real world? Most definitely---it'll happen with my students, too. Is that the safest thing for an Examiner to do? Absolutely not. The PTS (Practical Training Standards) pretty much spells out that an Examiner shouldn't be touching the controls unless the student does something unsafe or becomes incapacitated. I digress.

In the end, we taxied in, cooled off, and he handed me my temporary airman certificate adding "Airplane Single-Engine Land" to my Flight Instructor privileges. That's good enough for me :).

I noticed when I logged into the blog account today that this will be my 41st post. That's a lot of damn writing about a topic that probably sounds like a heap of jargon to most of you. Thanks for riding it out. Just in case you haven't been keeping up with your scorecard at home (you're all good baseball fans, right?), I thought it would be fun to look at the past 7 months and 12 days by the numbers.

In 2009, I have:

-Flown 162 hours (almost doubling my aeronautical experience in the span of 8 months)
-Performed upwards of 60 Instrument Approach Procedures (IAPs)
-Flown 7 different types (make and model) of aircraft
-Operated into and out of 30 different airports
-Flown with 4 different instructors
-Taken 5 FAA written exams
-Taken 4 FAA checkrides
-Earned 2 new certificates and 2 new ratings

This last part of the process, actually becoming a CFI, began on June 1. Gary was a good mentor, but there's no such thing as a fast track to becoming a flight instructor. If you see one of these somewhere and you think you want to be a CFI, take it with a grain of salt. Come to think of it, add about 2 months to that estimate. You'll preserve your sanity!

It's been a long fun ride, and it isn't over yet. I'm going to try and keep up with this blog as a I start instructing (which will happen very quickly---I have two Discover Flights with possible students scheduled already, and several people lined up for tailwheel endorsements). I've tried to thank a lot of people publicly on this blog and I know I've missed a few. I've you've had a direct impact on me getting all this done, you know who you are, and I'm grateful.

I'm going to go pack my stuff now, go spend some time with Alisa, convert our dining room back to its original configuration from the little temporary flight school I had to set up, and sleep in my own bed. And, of course, live the dream.

I know I have gotten into the habit of ending on a quote, but today I think this signature is just as cool as any quote!

Aaron Dabney, M.S.Ed, CFI, CFI-I

No comments:

Post a Comment