Time Flies

It’s been 2,5 weeks since my last post and time just keeps on flying. The first ground school tests have come and gone, my logbook has 6 flights in it and that number is increasing rapidly. We said goodbye to the 11-1 class, they’re off to Sweden. Wouter and I are now the only 2 Dutchies left here. Luckily we also have 3 Belgians to talk Dutch with and some Swedes to teach us how to pronounce Göteburg and Västerås the right (and some other words, which I will not be putting on my blog).

We’ve been in ground school almost every day of the week, for the last couple of weeks. We’ve done 2 out of the 3 stages in PPL(Private Pilot License) theory we need to study before we can start thinking about getting our FAA PPL, the first license we’ll be getting here. After both of the stages, we had to do a stage exam. The first was no problem: 92%, so an immediate pass. The second one caused to more trouble/frustration. I failed it at first, scoring only 76%. This was my lesson in how to prepare for a test in flight school. Because all tests in aviation are compiled out of the same database, you need to study all the questions in this database and repeat them untill you can select the right anwser without thinking about it. Having learned how to play the game, by failing the first time, I passed the exam 2 days later with 96%. In a week’s time, we’ll be doing the final stage exam, and then we need to prepare for the official test (called Lasergrade) by scoring at least 90% on 3 practice exams. So I will be studying a lot more questions the next couple of days. (or as it called over here: “Clicking”, because you use your mouse to answer the questions).

Since my TSA approval has come in, I’ve been spending a lot of time flying as well. In less then 2 weeks, I’ve had over 6 hours of flight training. The flying is going better and better. I’ve actually done my first real landing (with some directions from my instructor). There is still a lot more I need to learn, before I can fly solo, but I’m improving every lesson and enjoying it as much as I can. Every flight is a reminder of why I’m here.

We also got our uniforms, unfortunately we’ll need to do some more flying before we get any stripes on our shoulders, let alone a wing on our chest. But it’s a start.

This is me in my uniform, next to one of the planes I’m flying.

I’ve added some more pictures from the last couple of weeks to my photo album. Just go to my Picasa album (or the Photo page on my blog) to check them out.

Well, I’m off to do some more studying. Probably by the pool, because it’s nice and warm here! So, catch you guys later!

2 Responses to Time Flies

  • Melle says:

    First touchdown must have been awesome (and a big milestone at that!)
    I’m a bit shocked though that you have to learn answers from a database by heart, or is that the goal of the test :p?
    (Wonders what would happen if something occurs that wasnt in the question database and the pilot thus doesnt know what to do :p)

    • The first touchdown was real exciting, a bit scary though, because you don’t feel as ready as the instructor thinks/knows you are. And flying is absolutly safe, as long as you stay away from the ground and from outerspace. So getting really close to either is always more dangerous 😉
      I’m guessing the tests have just become a lot harder, since they had to disclose the database with questions. Because I don’t think anyone can actually do these tests up to such a high standard, without learning the questions (don’t forget, 76% is already a fail). Luckily there are still reasons to learn everything by heart, to some degree, outside of the tests. Airlines will always give you a technical interview, which is basically an interview to see if you learned anything other than questions and their answers. So airline pilots should at least know a little bit 😉
      Although most of what we learn, is eventually done by other people, except for the flying itself, which is done by a computer :-p

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