Tag: aviation training

Solo cross-country flights complete, end of course checkride approaching

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solo cross country flights complete end of course checkride approaching - Solo cross-country flights complete, end of course checkride approaching

Returning to Boeing Field after my first solo cross-country to Port Angeles, Wash. That’s the Seattle skyline in the foreground, Bellevue in the middle-right, and the Cascade Mountains in the distance

This is a continuation of my multi-part series on learning to fly. You can read the whole Fly With Francis series here.

So, it’s been a while since I’ve written an update, but that doesn’t mean I’ve not been making progress.

Since the last installment, I’ve done my three cross-country solo flights – they’re a requirement for the PPL, and consist of several solo flights away from one’s home airport. Cross-country meaning, you know, crossing the countryside and not a transcontinental flight in a small plane, which would take a couple days at best.

Requirements for the cross-country flights are that the each one has to include one leg of at least 50 nautical miles and a full-stop landing. For the long cross-county, the flight has to be a minimum of 150nm and include one leg of at least 50nm and full-stop landings at three airports, including returning to the point of origin.

For my flights, the first one was from Boeing Field (BFI) up to Port Angeles on the Olympic Peninsula. It was a spectacular day – completely free of turbulence, hardly any other air traffic, and clear as the proverbial bell.

The second one was the following week, from BFI to Chehalis, Washington, a bit south of Olympia. It was far more normal, with usual amounts of air traffic and slightly bumpy/windy conditions.

solo cross country flights complete end of course checkride approaching 4 - Solo cross-country flights complete, end of course checkride approaching

My flight planner for the second half of the long cross-country flight

The long cross-country went like this: BFI-BLI-PAE-BFI. I started at Boeing Field, flew up to Bellingham International, then stopped at Paine Field on the way back to Boeing Field. It also went really well, thanks to how diligently my CFI (aka instructor) had prepared my navigation skills.

solo cross country flights complete end of course checkride approaching 5 - Solo cross-country flights complete, end of course checkride approaching

This was taken just a bit northeast of Paine Field in Everett, Wash., on my third cross-country to Bellingham International Airport

While flying, especially at this stage of my training, I’m pretty busy flying and navigating and communicating, so photos are still few and far between, taken only when I’m absolutely certain I can spare a couple seconds to pick up the camera off the passenger seat and grab a couple quick photos.

solo cross country flights complete end of course checkride approaching 6 - Solo cross-country flights complete, end of course checkride approaching

Northbound from BFI, headed for BLI

So, what’s next now that those milestones have been completed? The next steps are to prepare for Galvin’s stage three checkride, which is essentially a mock FAA checkride. If I pass both the oral and flight portions of that one, I’ll ostensibly be prepared for the big FAA checkride, which, if passed, will finally earn me a private certificate.

Preparation for those items is well underway, and includes dusting off all my textbooks and notes, and doing a bunch of flights with my CFI to practice all the necessary maneuvers until I’m able to consistently fly them to standard.

solo cross country flights complete end of course checkride approaching 7 - Solo cross-country flights complete, end of course checkride approaching

The instrument panel in flight

Speaking of standard, the weather in the Pacific Northwest has been performing to standard, too. It’s been trending cool and cloudy with low ceilings, so I’ve had to cancel several flights due to marginal weather conditions. Now that August is here, things should settle in for summer so I can keep the training chugging along as I approach my end-of-course checkride and, hopefully soon, my FAA checkride.

For instance, a few days ago I had to cancel my local solo fight today due to low ceilings. Of course, about 30 minutes after my scheduled start time, it all cleared out. So it goes with flying.

EDITOR-AT-LARGE – SEATTLE, WA Francis Zera is a Seattle-based architectural, aerial, aviation, and commercial photographer, a freelance photojournalist, and a confirmed AvGeek.

http://www.zeraphoto.com

Private Pilot Tutorial 3: Principles of Flight

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Get Your Private Pilot License – Start Flying Today

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Click The Link Below For More Information:

Get Your Private Pilot License – Start Flying Today
Three years ago when I was 19 years old I packed my bags and moved to Colorado to start training to become a pilot. 70 hours of flying later I got my private pilots license and it was the best day of my life. It took a lot of studying and hard work to become a pilot, but I can safely say anyone can do it. Imagine how you will feel to invite a friend or family member to take to the skies with you.

The very first thing I would do is make sure you are healthy enough to fly. You will need a medical certificate to be able to apply for a private pilot license. You technically do not need one until before you get your license, but trust me you do not want to put all that time and money into something to find out later you cannot even do it.

The second step is to find a good flight school, I went to Western Air Flight Academy in Broomfield Colorado, but there are hundreds of great schools with professional flight instructors. Every school does what they call a discovery flight to see if it is indeed something you will love. My guess is you will be hooked as soon as you sit in that little Cessna.

Training is on your time, the instructor works for you, so if you want to come in 1 or 2 times a week for an hour of flying, or 4 or 5 times a week it does not matter (it usually comes down to how much money you are willing to spend a week because it is quite expensive). I recommend going at least 2 times a week to keep your skills sharp.

Before you know it, it will be time for your first solo, usually only about 13 hours of flying into it, pretty much when you learn to land by yourself you are ready to solo. That was by far the most exciting day of my life, and really could not believe I was doing it. There is still a lot of work to do before you get your private pilot license though. The average amount of hours it takes a student is about 65 to 75 hours.

Bottom line is aviation is thrilling! From the different maneuvers that will make your stomach drop, to the smooth night time air and the lights of the city. Nothing beats it; you owe it to yourself to start getting your wings today.
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Private Pilot Tutorial: 17 Aeronautical Decision Making (Part 3 of 4)

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Are you passionate about flying, but think that becoming a pilot is just a pipedream? The dream is closer than you think! The Pilot Training System curriculum can help you start down the path to your Pilot License for FREE! Log on to to take free quizzes and practice exams and access more training videos, news, aviation forums and advanced simulation tools.

Private Pilot Tutorial 17: Aeronautical Decision Making (Part 4 of 4)

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Are you passionate about flying, but think that becoming a pilot is just a pipedream? The dream is closer than you think! The Pilot Training System curriculum can help you start down the path to your Pilot License for FREE! Log on to to take free quizzes and practice exams and access more training videos, news, aviation forums and advanced simulation tools.

Private Pilot Tutorial 17: Aeronautical Decision Making (Part 2 of 4)

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Are you passionate about flying, but think that becoming a pilot is just a pipedream? The dream is closer than you think! The Pilot Training System curriculum can help you start down the path to your Pilot License for FREE! Log on to to take free quizzes and practice exams and access more training videos, news, aviation forums and advanced simulation tools.

Private Pilot Tutorial 17: Aeronautical Decision Making (Part 1 of 4)

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Are you passionate about flying, but think that becoming a pilot is just a pipedream? The dream is closer than you think! The Pilot Training System curriculum can help you start down the path to your Pilot License for FREE! Log on to to take free quizzes and practice exams and access more training videos, news, aviation forums and advanced simulation tools.

Private Pilot Tutorial 14: Airspace

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Are you passionate about flying, but think that becoming a pilot is just a pipedream? The dream is closer than you think! The Pilot Training System curriculum can help you start down the path to your Pilot License for FREE! Log on to to take free quizzes and practice exams and access more training videos, news, aviation forums and advanced simulation tools.

Private Pilot Tutorial 16: Aeromedical Factors (Part 2 of 2)

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Are you passionate about flying, but think that becoming a pilot is just a pipedream? The dream is closer than you think! The Pilot Training System curriculum can help you start down the path to your Pilot License for FREE! Log on to to take free quizzes and practice exams and access more training videos, news, aviation forums and advanced simulation tools.

Private Pilot Tutorial 12: Aviation Weather Services (Part 3 of 3)

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Are you passionate about flying, but think that becoming a pilot is just a pipedream? The dream is closer than you think! The Pilot Training System curriculum can help you start down the path to your Pilot License for FREE! Log on to to take free quizzes and practice exams and access more training videos, news, aviation forums and advanced simulation tools.

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