For those of you who think that once you pass your flight test, you’re a licensed pilot, I am sorry to rain on your parade! In addition to passing the ground and flight tests, there are a host of other requirements needed to become certified. One of these is a minimum number of solo cross country hours. And if I want to rent a plane ever, at the school where I trained for 3 years of my life, then those cross country hours need to include a triangular flight from CTYZ to Tillsonburg, Waterloo and back to City again.
It’s true that I already flew this path dual several months ago, with another instructor, but then the weather would not allow me to complete the subsequent solo route, and I elected to focus instead of completing other aspects of my training and passing that darned flight test (which I did, in July).
So, today I re-flew the dual west, and hope to complete the solo version on Wed or Friday this week, before heading off to Argentina!
The weather, for once, was extremely cooperative. And -- apart from the fact my shirt buttons kept coming undone in flight, and I had to keep excusing myself and assuring the (new) instructor that I was not, in fact, trying to come on to him, but rather, that my shirt was just a cheap piece of shit -- it was rather a nice flight, I must say. The winds were very light (“2 gusting 3”, as the friendly lady on the Tillsonburg Unicom told us), and the air was like butter – we glided through in our little 152 with nary a titch of turbulence. Truly, it was exceptional weather.
Flying with a new instructor proved somewhat stressful at times – he doesn’t know all my quirks, nor I his – but overall it was a very positive experience. Alec is a fairly new addition to the Island Air team, and one I highly recommend to anyone in the market for a flight instructor. His age and life status seem to make him a little more focused on instructing and a little less focused on building hours than some others I have flown with. He seems to genuinely enjoy flying, and thinks through various scenarios and shares his opinions with his students. Alec’s confidence, positive attitude and genuine manner make him fun to fly with and a good instructor to learn from, in my opinion.
We found both airports without too much incidence, and were soon home again at City, where I remembered, independently, to close our flight plan.
Learnings: Tighten up radio calls (leave out extraneous words), consider when to use flight following and when not to, constantly estimate checkpoints and calculate ground speed in flight, and check, check and recheck these as you go.
Food for thought: Consider making my landings less "flat"; flare a little more definitively.
After today's instructional flight, I am somewhat more confident with my navigation, and am looking forward to completing the solo cross country this week, so that I can finally send in my paperwork and be a REAL pilot!!! Those of you so inclined, please pray for conducive weather Wednesday or Friday, lol!