2011 Summary

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Looking back at my first year as a fully qualified PPL, I’m very pleased with how much I’ve managed to achieve.

The major hurdles included:

Gaining an IMC rating. Undoubtedly the most difficult thing I’ve done in flying so far. Frankly this took far longer and cost much more than I had expected. Being able to start my training at Lyneham, which had all the instrument approaches and facilities one could wish for was of great benefit, but having to do so much follow on training at Oxford was disappointing. I do feel thoroughly trained, and want to ensure my IMC skills are kept current which the move to Kemble has not so far encouraged.

Completing my Night Qualification. Having started this a year ago at Gloucester in early December 2010, I completed the five hours course in January. It was difficult to fit in, because the airport closes at 6 at weekends (7:30 during the week), requiring me to leave work early and drive up. I was able to use it for a couple of flights from Lyneham, but haven’t been able to do so elsewhere.

Gaining an FAA Seaplane Rating, which also got me a valid US PPL Licence (based on my UK one). Great fun and good experience, while the seaplane rating is probably something I would never use for real, the US FAA PPL Licence could prove very handy on any future business trips to the US.

Making my first foreign trip, crossing to Calais for the day.

All this lot meant I satisfied the requirements for an AOPA Silver Wings award.

Raw Statistics

  • Total Time: 165:35 PIC 74:30
  • This Year: 103:55 PIC 60:10 (of which 2 hours night), Dual: 43:45 (of which 3 hours night)
  • 86 flights
  • 8 different aircraft
  • 22 new airfields
  • 1 foreign trip

Next year’s objectives include:

  • Continuing to build up my P1 experience to the magic 100 hours which entitles me to self-authorise my flights
  • Keeping my IMC skills current by practicing instrument approaches under the hood
  • Making several more foreign trips
  • Differences training for the club Arrow, which is a complex aircraft with retractrable gear and variable prop
  • Possibly learning a GPS approach (there’s a small chance the club Arrow will be fitted with a GPS RNAV next year)
  • Showing others what flights in light aircraft are like

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