Posted by: Brian | March 14, 2010

Part 141 Ground School. Check.

I completed my last session of my Part 141 ground school, which ended with a comprehensive 60 question exam (which I passed!).  We ended the course with some navigational planning.  Being able to put 7 weeks of schooling together at the end was extremely helpful.  The course my instructor had us plan “flew” us from Freeway Airport to Ocean City, NJ (about an hour flight), which included determining weather, plotting waypoints (intersections or checkpoints), computing fuel requirements, headings, landing requirements and time to destination.

Now that I passed the ground school, I can take the FAA written exam, which I will do within the next two weeks or so (after giving myself some time to study a bit more).  Next goal: Solo!  After that, it’s just a matter of getting enough hours in the air and having my instructor endorse me for my checkride.  That is what I am most nervous about: having an FAA examiner in the right seat critiquing my every move for about two hours in the air, not to mention an hour and a half oral exam on the ground prior to even going up.  But that’s what I’m paying my instructor to prepare me for…

I thoroughly enjoyed the class put on by Freeway Aviation and thought the instructor they put before the class was extremely knowledgeable.  He made it interesting.  I imagine that it’s not easy to keep 14 people awake for 7 hours on a Saturday morning (8am – 3pm).  He did a great job, though.  One thing I liked about his instructional style was that he’d give us the ‘book’ answer, then the practical, real-world answer, which is always helpful.  He was always careful to caveat it with, “Now, for your FAA test, you have to do XYZ.  But, once you are on your own, you will probably to do ABC.”

Unfortunately, the weather hasn’t been cooperating very much on the days I have had scheduled as of late.  I was due to go up yesterday after class, but the ceiling is too low, hovering around 300′ AGL with 2 SM visibility (VFR requirement is a 3 SM visibility, with a 1000′ ceiling).  Today, much of the same, but I’m keeping an eye on the Terminal Area Forecast.  I am due to go up today from 12pm – 2pm, but it’s not looking good.  My instructor said that he’s not concerned about the light rain, as it doesn’t really affect us.  If the ceiling can jump about 1500′, he said that we’d just stay in the pattern and do takeoffs and landings.  If not, there’s always next weekend.

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