Pilot.

Passed.

I took my written exam for Instrument Rating-Airplane today. I’ve been not looking forward to this exam because written exams tend to make me nervous. I passed the exam with an above average score and I am quite pleased with the result.

The written exam is one of three tests associated with becoming an Instrument Rated pilot. I now have to complete an oral exam and a checkride with an FAA examiner. I’m about a month away from doing this; and I look forward to that opportunity.

Impediment.

Last night I discovered that my large mustache has a habit of pushing down the mic on my headset when I’m flying an airplane. Not being able to talk to Air Traffic Control can be a problem. So, I need to figure this out.

Still Flying.

I’m went flying with instructor Prabesh on Wednesday night. It was a bit windy and the desert keeps it quite bumpy in the afternoons and early evening, but I kept the needles pointed where they were suppose to be pointing, the airplane in the air, and I didn’t make a fool of myself on the radio.

I walked away from the flight feeling quite pleased with myself. And that’s a great feeling.

Co-Pilot.

I’ve literally been having dreams about flying. I’ve always dreamed about flying, both in an airplane and just flying around like Captain Marvel, but lately I’ve been having flying related dreams. It’s probably because I’m working on my instrument rating with instructor Prabesh. Learning the intricacies of flying in the clouds can make an impression on the subconscious.

A few of my pilot dreams have involved my Dad. The other night I dreamed that I was my age and Dad was alive and his age and we were at the airport not too far from his house. There was a Cessna 150 and I said to Dad, do you want to go flying? You can ride right seat. And I remember smiling big at him.

I don’t believe in regrets; life is lived on purpose and we choose our path and we follow it. No regrets when looking at the past. However, I do wish I had earned my pilots certificate when Dad was still alive. That was always my plan. It was always something I wanted to do, but I wasn’t in the right place in my life (nor did we have the funds) to get it accomplished. I’m happy that I did. I do wish I had flown with Dad in the right seat at least once, though. That would have been very nice.

Flight Memory.

I was looking around on Youtube and came across this video my friend Nick had posted. I rode right seat with him on his first flight after getting his Private Pilot Certificate back in 2015 and it was a fun little flight. Nick is a great pilot, had to take a break from it for a bit, but got back into it a while back. I think he’s based in the Capital District now.

I like flying with other pilots. It’s a great way to learn technique and it’s just a lot of fun.

Have Fun.

I went flying with Flight Instructor Prabesh yesterday evening as part of our weekly flight together. I’m working on what’s called my Instrument Rating, meaning when all is said and done after this checkride I’ll be able to fly in the clouds and safely fly an airplane in instances where I can’t see the ground or the horizon. It’s a special skill and when achieved I’ll be the first pilot in the family to have achieved this milestone.

We’ve been working on my instrument rating in a selection of Cessna 172 airplanes, which I’ve flown many times before, but not recently. I have to show the new flight school that I’m perfectly capable of handling a C172 in less than ideal conditions, so Prabesh and I went up and did a lot of basic maneuvers to make sure I could handle the airplane in an emergency. This involves pulling the engine and making emergency descents, doing steep turns (showing I can control the aircraft in such a situation), and stalls, showing I can get the airplane flying again after it’s lost lift under the wings and stopped flying.

We had a lot of fun flying last night. We’ve been flying after dark working on my Instrument Rating, since I don’t need to see anything when I’m theoretically flying in the clouds, so it was a nice change of pace to see things and admire the surroundings in the daylight.

I love flying airplanes. It’s a love I did something about rather late in life but it makes me very happy. And as of Tuesday, I’ve been an official private pilot for seven years.

Seven grand years.

Time Flies.

Eight years ago today was my first flying lesson. With instructor Chuck in the right seat, we took off from runway 33 at KRME Griffiss International Airport in Rome, New York in a 1966 PA28-140 (or Cherokee 140). The four seat, low wing airplane was my trainer all the way through the following December when I earned my Private Pilot’s Certificate.

My life has never been the same.

Uneven.

The unevenness of the week continues. I’m feeling the effects of a head cold, undoubtedly contracted during a visit back east, and I feel the need to sleep. I was scheduled to fly tonight and I felt well enough to accomplish the flight, though I wasn’t at the top of my game. I seriously considered calling off the flight, but I kept myself together long enough to practice a few approaches to the airport under instrument simulation.

I plan on feeling better for next week’s lesson.

I have a goal of completing a couple of the ratings in my aviation plan by the end of 2022. And I plan on doing it safely and confidently. My most conservative decisions are around my thoughts as a pilot, and it took some self inventory to decide to fly tonight. I’m glad I did.

Now I just want to go to bed.

Early.

I was up at 5:15 AM and immediately headed to the airport to fly a 1969 Piper Cherokee 140 for an hour with the instructor that’s checking me out on their airplanes.

The desert is beautiful at this time of day. Unfortunately, I did not take any photos but it turns out I am capable of flying an airplane first thing in the morning. I had never done that before.

Back In The Air.

On Saturday we drove to KRYN Ryan Airfield, on the southwest side of the city, to look into flight opportunities. As I mentioned last week, I haven’t flown since our move to Tucson and since Monsoon Season has seemingly come to an end, it’s time to take advantage of the cooler weather and get back in the air.

Today I confirmed a flight for Saturday. I’ll be going up with an instructor in a 1969 Piper Cherokee 140. It’s just a couple of years newer than the airplane I learned to fly in and I’m looking forward to “getting back to my roots”, so to speak.

Flying in the desert will be different than flying in the northeast or midwest. I’m looking forward to tackling the new challenges this weekend.