Wednesday, August 25, 2010

A new Private Pilot

Congratulations to Christopher Ian, who took some time off from his powered aircraft pursuits and finished off his Private Pilot (Glider) certificate!

This was a significant accomplishment for Christopher and for PMSC. It was the first flight test at Post Mills that didn't involve Rick or Andy. Thomas was the recommending instructor, and Matt towed. It's good to see that we are finally becoming somewhat independent of the old coots.

Here's a picture of the proud instructor and his former student. Christopher is holding something I can't quite make out. It looks like Thomas's old Green Card. As I say, I wasn't there, so I can't be sure.

And here is Christopher's writeup of his day:
After one and a half seasons of flying gliders in my spare time and airplanes in my off-time, with extensive (formerly Swiss) CFI-induced flight test preparation and completed logbook compilations, I passed the oral test and 2-flight flight test to earn my private pilot certificate – with glider rating on a terrific sunny day at Post Mills. Frequent 4-600 fpm thermals in the mix to make it fun.

Examiner Bill Stinson conducted a mostly predictable oral test (“What special consideration should be taken and avoided in ground handling of the Blanik L13?” Thanks Sonny, for the answer to that one). The first flight with expected requisite maneuvers (“trim for cruise speed, now take your hands off the controls - and give a little right rudder and fly”).

Thanks to Matt for stepping up to tow on his day off from his other job towing - with Andy as backup – and to CFIs who endured enough to take 2 years off before the next BFR with honorable mention to Thomas who pulled all the strings together with ground school prep and logbook technique to be ready for testday.

To step it up a bit, for flight number two, Bill covered up the airspeed indicator and altimeter, and declared- “We are not going to tell the tow pilot how high to tow us. Release from tow when we get to 2,500 AGL” (3,200 msl) – about $33 worth for the locals. Nailing it at 3,300, off tow and out to find thermals before the expected no-spoiler approach, Bill threw another twist into the mix: “Let’s land in the other direction so we don’t have to walk as far” - but without removing the covers over the dials to test the student on a downwind, no-spoiler landing. Forgetting momentarily that he was PIC for the first time, I asked about the runways – “Do I have a choice?” And Bill, seemingly amused stated, “I don’t think so.”

So, things worked out; PMSC has a new private pilot; and the former student has earned the coveted right to not talk to another CFI till the end of the 24th month after the month of his flight test.

That would be August 31, 2012. And that was a question on the oral test, though not stated exactly as written here.


Anonymous said...

Comments?, what is there to say,really?
Not sure who reads these, but they are often quite entertaining. So I'll go first. It all seems so easy now . . . go frickin' figure. But most of all, a great huge thanks to everyone at PMSC for their support and good cheer in my flying, learning and being part of a terrific flying club in about the best place to learn & fly (over NE, alongside another great place to learn and fly- taildragger over Sonoma Valley wine country). Lest I leave any names out, namelessly, those who jumped in the front/ or back seat to do no-spoiler landings w/ me, answered my questions, gave me suggestions, and otherwise put up w/ me . . . I can say I 1st flew taildragger over wine, 1st solo at PMSC, 1st power solo at KLEB, 1st ridge @ Franconia & 1st (non)-wave w/ PMSC, 1st flight test at PMSC ~ all of which hold terrific memories ~ w/ photos to keep. Many thanks.

Andy Lumley said...

Who are you calling an old coot?

Thomas said...

Christopher handled his second flight with bravour.

To further his training towards the commercial rating, he will have to repeat the same stunt blinfolded. And solo, that is.

Anonymous said...

Was the examiner wearing a lavender shirt, too?