Tuesday, December 10, 2013

It's One down & 2 to go and its been -16 degrees but no time to celebrate

The Mojave desert
Landed at an airport at 9,000ft.........  I want one of these
I am a few weeks into my training here at Sheble Aviation in the middle of the Mojave desert, so far I have seen the extremes of weather that the desert can offer, from sunny days in shorts and t-shirts to freezing nights and desert snow to howling 45 knots winds..... oh and we fly in all of that.
My flying experience in Europe to date didn't prepare me for the steep learning curve of mountain flying where there are some serious considerations to have which affect the ability to fly at altitude and mountain flying at night is a whole new beast.
I certainly have felt like a student once again and and its been a refreshingly tough experience so far.
Today as I am writing this I have just got back after a long day which started at 3am with a night flight over the mountains to Las Vegas airport for my Instrument rating flight test & is ending with a cool beer in my hotel room.
The in-between part was a nerve racking trial and test that if I am honest I managed to get myself a little wound up about.
The hard work over the passed few months of the theory course and the last couple of weeks of training has paid off so far.
The test consisted of a 3 hour oral test on flight planning, law, weather & regulations prior to even being allowed to get into the plane.
Those of my students who know me will know I love to talk, but when on the receiving end of the questioning I managed to get a little tongue tied at times, and was extremely relieved when the examiner turned around and said the magic words "Ready to go flying then ?"
It was off for what turned out to be my last flight with the blindfold on for a little while, as after taking off and heading out around the mountains for various holds, system failures and approaches we landed and the examiner told me I had done a great job and handed me my new Instrument rating..... I am exhausted. But...... as I sit here with my beer in hand I am reading up on tomorrows lessons which is where I start flying the high performance Navion plane where I will get my High performance endorsement and I should have my FAA Commercial license if all goes well after the weekend. At least now I will be allowed to look out of the window and see some of the scenery. I sneaked some pictures today on the way back from Las Vegas whilst flying the 220 Horse power Navion plane today..... I will try to take more now I am allowed to look out of the window.





Home for the time being



Who's holding where ?


The Navion- my next challenge

The school here has a twin engined sea plane.....mmmmmmm

Flying the desert at night


Some proper weather in the mountains and a serious STAY AWAY


The real life cowboy town

The simulator

Some cheeky weather that has been keeping us on the ground for a few days

Saturday, November 16, 2013

The bags are packed and I'm ready to go

Well here we are again.
The house is packed up and I'm off to take the train to Paris to crash on my friend Pierre's couch before my transatlantic flight in the morning firstly to Chicago then onward to Las Vegas.
To say I'm excited is an understatement, also a feeling of intrepidation, having sat in the right seat teaching for the passed 800 hours its time to get back into the left seat and get my study head on.
The scenery will be amazing in the Arizona desert and totally different from Florida or France, hopefully I will get the chance to see some of it when doing the instrument training which is mainly done with goggles on to restrict the ability to look outside the plane.
I am hoping to get the chance to keep a training record on here as my blog to see how I am getting along and be able to look back after and see how much fun the whole trip has been....
For now I am going to meet my buddy John who is already there so I hope he has found a good place for a beer at the end of the day......
Smoke me a Kipper.................

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Storms, clouds and gin clear skies.....

Flying from the right seat in the Cessna 414....awesome
The summer disappeared very quickly, the colours of the trees have changed and we are in the final throws of the year.
Since August I have been hard at the studies once again and this time to get the Instrument rating theory exams as well as the American Commercial pilot license.
This last week I traveled up to flight safety in Paris and sat the 2 exams one after the other and managed 85% on each one.
I took the opportunity to visit the Aviation museum in Le Bourget and that was brilliant.
In short that means I can head off to Arizona next weekend and do the flying part of the course.
I will be doing my Instrument rating, Commercial license and my multi engine rating there.
I still can't quite believe the ground studies are done as I get home each evening and my brain wants to study.......
I have had some great students here over the passed few months, and in that time I have managed to pass my 1000 hours of total flight time, a special thanks to David for getting me over that line.
I will try to write each day during my training adventure in the USA......
My other huge treat recently was the chance to get to fly a Cessna 414 twin with the owner down to Lyon, it gave me a huge taster for whats to come......



The Concorde Cockpit







Passing 1000 hours.... thankyou Mr Spokes






The Cessna 414














Studying once again





Up and away again..... heading North, a long day and then home.....

At Starbucks in Beirut, thinking about where I'd like us to go away holiday this year The phone rings..... "Can we leave to...