Sunday, January 22, 2006

Year in review

This week was my one-year anniversary of achieving my Private Pilot - Glider rating. This week I also started participating in a 6-week Cross-County/Bronze Badge workshop that my club is holding. That got me to thinking about accomplishments.

I had not actively worked on the A, B, C, or Bronze badges until now. I'm not really motivated by badges, although I see their value and will probably be proud of them when I get them. I have been more focused on working toward the legal requirements (presolo and PPG tests), and working toward independence (solo flight, taking passengers, progressing to single-seat, progressing to high performance, ability to rent and fly ships in remote locations). My next step is cross-country, and the Bronze Badge program is designed to prepare one for XC. So by completing that badge I should be able to get approval to fly club ships cross-country. The C is a prereq to the Bronze, so I need to do that first. I have accomplished all the C requirements except maybe one.

So what did I accomplish in the first year of having my PPG?
  • Checked out in PW5 single-seat fiberglass ship
  • Checked out in Grob 103 two-seat fiberglass ship
  • Took 5 passengers for rides in Blanik and Grob (and only made one sick)
  • Rented a Grob 103 and flew in Florida
  • Learned to land a high-performance ship on a narrow, sloped asphalt runway
  • Received spin training in the Blanik
  • Took an aerobatic ride in a biplane (not soaring, but aviation!)
  • Acquired a PDA-based GPS system and began learning to use it
  • Flew with seagulls
  • Flew with hawks
  • Only accumulated 8 hours as PIC. Only achieved a 1:07 maximum duration flight. (It seems to me that soaring conditions at Hemet were much weaker in 2005 than 2004 - at least on the days I flew.)

To check on duration requirements etc. for the C and Bronze, I entered my logbook into a spreadsheet. I found that due to some math errors early on, I had missed 1.5 hours in my total. So now I'm at 41:15.


Anonymous said...

You need to make an effort to fly more. At 8 hours per year you are never going to progress very far.

Roger said...

I also had 3 hours of dual time to get checked out in the other ships, but I agree that 11 hours in a year is not a lot. It seemed like all summer and fall, all we could get were 20 to 40 minute flights - much worse lift than I saw in the spring. I'm hoping for better conditions and longer flights this year.

Anonymous said...

Roger... Soaring can be very humbling. When I was flying out of Hemet, I too wondered where "flight time" was going to come from. So I moved to Crystal, "better". When I saw I was never going to get my Glider Private (add-on to Power Private) I went to Phoenix ("immersion school") and got the rating (25 flights in 4 days, mucho groundschool and homework). Now I'm the exact opposite of before, "burned out". Still have not yet taken a passenger for a ride. FWIW, conditions at Crystal are far better than Hemet, May-Oct 2hr flights "typical" (could be longer depending on your physical comfort). As much as SoCal bills itself as a "4-seasons" soaring site, it is *not*. And an $80 tow for a :30 flight gets old fast.

You are optimistic (excellent), and I'd bet that this summer will bring great flights.