Monday, July 30, 2007

And Then There Were Two!

Two pilots in the family, that is! Husband got his license on Saturday! I'm teasing him that he argued his way to a license, though he actually did very well on his oral and his flight. He just had a few paperwork problems that were a bit unexpected. Apparently, even though it looks in one place that our plane's ELT (emergency locator transmitter) was inspected in the last year, there's no substantiating sign off from the work actually having been done. And since that is required annually, our plane was technically not airworthy. He finally convinced the examiner to let him fly-- by finding a mechanic to remove it completely! According to the FAA, it's better to fly with none than with one that is not inspected! (I understand the reasoning for it, but it does sort of defy logic.)

In any case, he pulled through-- and stayed focused enough to pass the checkride. Unfortunately, the thunderstorms came before he was able to take me for a ride. Oh well-- hopefully, we have many years of flying together in front of us!

Sunday, we started working on our IFR (instrument flight rating)! No rest for the weary... Husband keeps telling everyone that I'm pushing him through... I guess I forgot that I got a four week break in the action-- and he got none. So much for still being able to fly if we go IFR... thunderstorms kept us on the ground again on Sunday. But we did get in our first ground session with our new instructor, A. It went pretty well, though it felt a little like the first day of school when you meet your new teacher! I think Husband's going to do very well with A's style-- he goes through things a little faster than M, I just hope I can keep up!

The strangest thing about working on our IFR is that there is a lot more stuff that we "just need to know for the test"-- but that doesn't apply to our airplane. On the one hand, I want to be a good pilot- regardless of the aircraft... on the other hand, it's hard to get excited about learning instruments that seem to be getting outdated. If we didn't own the plane, then the standard thing would be for us to do the entire first stage of IFR in the sim. But since we own the plane, the economics actually make it about the same-- or maybe a little bit cheaper-- to do the work in the plane. So others learning on a G1000 at our flight school still spend about 15 hours in the sim (on steam gauges) before getting into the G1000 stuff. For us, we'll only use the sim for the stuff that really needs to be learned there first. Hopefully, the transition won't be too hard. There are a lot of articles about pilots transitioning from the steam gauges to glass... but I haven't seen any about the other way around. Hmmm.... maybe I could get an article out of this!

Here's hoping the weather clears so I can take my friend up tonight... (though I'm not holding my breath as it's 10am and still solid IMC--instrument meteorological conditions).

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