Saturday, February 28, 2015

Ground School ... DONE!!!

It was odd relearning what I had known for years.  My 'knowledge' had a LOT of rust to knock off and to re-oil.   But it was completed.  

I had a dose of reality and found out that if you don't use it, you lose it.  A lot was lost, but, now that the Gleim on-line course was completed, I feel nearly up to speed.  What I need to do now is the take some sample tests on-line and reinforce what I should have learned.

Next up, the FAA Written, which I can take at any time.

Final score on Gleim?   94%

Funny.  That was the score on my first written a few years back.

Friday, February 20, 2015

It's Official

Joined a new flying club today, so, actually, I belong to two of them.

This new one is right by me at Cuyahoga County Airport (KCGF) and is with T&G Flying Club.  

So, no longer do I have a 1 hour +15 minute drive to an airport that I actually really love hanging out at.  Because it will make me a better pilot, I greatly prefer smaller airports.  most of all, the friendliness at the smaller airport will be missed.  

On the plus side, I am 12-15 minutes from my new airfield and flying will no longer be a 2 and a half hour, plus flying time event.  

PLUS, most of all, I will be flying the plane that I greatly prefer,  Piper Cherokee Warrior.   I will, though, miss flying my favorite plane, N94400, at my former airport.   

So, I have a test to take in ground school, then I will have 2 more chapters, plus, a final exam to get my completion certificate, then I can take my written exam at Burke Lakefront. 

So, Mother Nature, let us have a break in these -5 to 10 degree days.  

Please?? 

Friday, February 13, 2015

Back To Ground School

Here we go again.  Ground school.

I have tried to stay somewhat up to date with my aviation knowledge over the years since I stopped flying. 

Now that I, for now, have clear sailing to my license, I have to get back up to speed.

Since I had such great results with Gleim's On-Line Ground School, and also studying 'Rod Machado's Private Pilot Handbook' to reinforce what I am re-learning.

I am hoping to repeat my 94% that I received on my last written test.

Finished one chapter last night, so far, so good. :) 

Friday, February 6, 2015

Cessna! Piper! Cessna! Piper!

Today, the weather was the typical winter Cleveland weather. Without the snow.

Mid afternoon today, I decided to just call up the airport and see if I can get a flight with my prospective new flying school.

From my location in Cleveland the drive to my regular school is about an hour and 15 minutes. If I moved to the new school the drive is only 15 minutes, including catching most of the red lights.

Since receiving the great news from the FAA recently I have been hoping for a decent day to get to the airport and just go for a quick flight.
With the pricing at the prospective new school which is substantially higher than my old one I have some decisions to make. Convenience of having the school close by or driving a good distance to save the money. Also, with the new school I can bring the price down with a deposit and joining the flying club, and also have a monthly payment for my monthly dues. By joining the club the price for the airplane is now slightly higher than my old school.

I also have another dilemma. Cessna or Piper? Just about all of my training has been in a Cessna 152, and at the new school if I choose to switch, not only do I have the Cessna 152's, but I also have access to one of my favorite planes, a Piper Warrior.

Today, I chose the Warrior. Since I have not flown in over three years, I was excited and nervous. As you can see from the photograph I was basically enjoying my flight. The steep turns kicked my butt, which actually I should have rejected when the flight instructor wanted to put me through the paces. Getting used to slow flight in this airplane was a lot different than the Cessna 152. But next time, I will be ready and be able to make the adjustments as needed. My landings were pretty decent, and that made me feel almost at home.

I am 95% sure that I will stick with this flying school and joined the club, and based on how I flew today I don't think I should have much of a problem finishing my license in a very short period of time. And while today is February 6, if the weather cooperates don't be surprised if I am completing my license by the end of March, if not sooner.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Decisions, decisions.

Okay, now that I have come back down to earth I have to put things into perspective and get the ball rolling.

I have pretty much selected where I'm going to do my ground school. Since I had good results with the previous ground school class I took, I will return back to them. I will return to do the Gleim On-Line program.

When I took the program years ago the end result was a 94% on my ground school test. I also took the time to expand my knowledge with the Rod Machado's Private Pilot Handbook. I feel strongly that this book should be required reading for anyone coming into aviation to obtain their pilot's license.

Since the weather has been snowy and cold, I have not had a chance to go to the airport to take a flying lesson. As it stands right now, I am not sure if I'm going to go back to my old school or to go to the airport which is 13 minutes away from me. Both have strong advantages and disadvantages.

My old school is in the environment that I really prefer. I like small airports, where people know each other, and there is no problem hanging out outside by the planes and just shooting the bull. At the same time, the drive is around an hour and 20 minutes. While the airplanes are very airworthy, due to the low rate that they charge for rental, let's say, you're getting what you paid for. More specifically, cosmetically speaking, they have been around the block quite a few times. If I come back here I plan on finishing up by leaving the Cessna 152 and moving up to the Cessna 172.

The new school, which is about 13 minutes away from me, is a larger airfield with a runway that is over 5000 feet. That is almost 3000 feet more than I am used to, and I am not sure if my skills would benefit by being challenged with a runway that is far longer than is needed for a four seat airplane. Also, the rate for the instructor is much higher, in fact, it is double than the rate at my old airport. If I decide to move to this airport, I will be limited financially to fly the Cessna 152.

Luckily, since the weather is still snowy for the past two weeks and will continue to be for the next six weeks, there is actually no rush to make a decision.

While I am deciding, I can do my ground school and play with my new toy, my Asus Transformer, and decide which Android app I am going to use to aid me in my flying.  :)

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

SHOCKED As Hell

Today is January 27, and back in November I went to see the AME for my medical evaluation. He was quite thorough, and advised me that due to various emergency room visits over the past two years for blood pressure and heart palpitations, I should expect delays and probably stress tests for the FAA to review before issuing my certificate.

Yesterday, I got that dreaded letter from the FAA and sat down to read it.

I must say that I was very surprised to see that not only was I issued my medical certificate, the FAA waived a special issuance for two additional medical conditions which are quite minor.

Unfortunately, today the outside temperature is around 16° even though it is quite sunny outside, but after receiving this medical certificate I wanted to run out to the airport and take a quick flying lesson to get back up to speed.

So, as it stands right now, I am back in business and can immediately start flying and expect to finish my pilot's license fairly quickly, depending on the weather.

I guess I should start up ground school, huh?

Thursday, December 11, 2014

AME ... Booked.

Okay, here we go.

I have my medical exam booked as of an hour ago. The medical examiner I have seen before has quit the business, therefore I have to find a new one. What I ended up doing was posting on Facebook and my pilot friends suggested several of them, but the one stuck out was the one in Ashland Ohio.

I finished my medical application online as required by the FAA by using the MedXPress online application process. On one hand this form is a little intimidating, but then again this is the same form applicants fill out at the doctors office. Therefore, it is an easy process because all of the paperwork that I have is on hand at my fingertips without having to guess at anything.

Today is Friday, and my examination is on Wednesday of next week. The drive should take around an hour and 15 minutes, and the medical examiner is located at an airport therefore I can get there early and hang around the airplanes and relax.

Wish me luck!