Just an update to say that I have received my Pilot’s Certificate in the mail! It took less than a week, which was surprising to say the least. I was beginning to feel like a kid again; you remember when you ordered something from the catalogue and then took up a position in the house where you could observe the postman-shaped airmass in front of the box in case you missed him after the first 30 or 40 times you checked? And things always took “6 to 8 weeks”…
So yeah, its official, I can go rent a plane now! Though of course it’d need to be of the same type and characteristics of the ones I’ve trained in. And if I go somewhere unfamiliar, there’d be some logbook scrutiny and a checkride involved. But cool, hey!
The type “A” means a 3 axis, single engine plane with ailerons, rudder and elevator for control (as opposed to a zeppelin or hot-air balloon or hang-glider). HF means I have passed a course on the all-important Human Factors (basically keeping the Pilot from being the Problem…), HP means High Performance – cruise speeds over 80 kts, not high-performance as in a Lear Jet or anything… NW means Nose Wheel (as opposed to the more traditional style with the steerable wheel in the back) and R means Radio, so I can hear and be heard.
Before long I will be starting my Navigation training (which will give me an X on the card and allow me to go cross-country). I’ll also be working on gaining the extra hours (5) and concepts required to take a passenger (PAX on the card…).
THAT’S when it will start to really get cool, when I can take people up for scenic rides to take pictures, or simply absorb the experience of sitting in a chair in the sky. Can’t wait!
Now THAT might take more than 6 to 8 weeks.