Although the blog posts have been a little slow, a fair bit has been happening over the past little while. The current update on where I’m at with my Private Pilots License, is that I’m already thinking about what I’m going to do after it is complete!
Actually what has happened and what is left to be done is this…
- PPL Theory Exam – Complete (and passed)
- Navigation Training – Complete
- Still doing laps of the Training Area with Friends & Family – Over Achieved!
- PPL Theory Knowledge Deficiency Verbal Check – Not Complete
- FROL – Flight Radio Operators License – Not Complete
- English Proficiency Exam – Not Complete
- Private Pilots Pre-License Check Flight – Not Complete
- Private Pilots License Flight – Not Complete
Navigation training actually finished back on the 3rd December (2011), however I wasn’t able to progress any further until the PPL theory was done. As I had been totally unstructured, slack and generally dis-interested in the theory, I wasn’t really doing much study. A bit of token study here and there, but it was all about the flying and Navigation. The reality of the study situation is, it is a full time, hard yakka activity.
What I should have done was study hard from the start and I mean from the point when I completed my GFPT theory exam. There is nothing stopping you continuing straight on. In fact it would have been the absolute right thing to do. The reason being is that the PPL theory exam includes all of the human factors, aerodynamics and calculations learnt for GFPT. If you leave it for a long period like me, then you have to re-study it for the PPL exam.
My tips to those wanting to do their PPL license and prepare, all I would do is this:
- CASA Visual Flight Rules Guide – find a copy as you can take it into the exam, it is the VFR pilot bible
- Bob Tait BAK (Basic Aeronautical Knowledge)
- Bob Tait PPL
- C.A.A.P. for Night VFR – the reason is that there were three questions on Threat and Error Management that were just not covered in any of the above. Section 8 covers these.
- Know the sections of the AIP – which you may need in the exam (generally covered in the Visual Flight Rules Guide)
- Know the sections of the ERSA – which you will also need in the exam
Then, do a couple of practice exams.
- The questions in the back of the Bob Tait PPL Theory book (I think these are taken from those released by CASA as examples)
- CASA Example PPL questions – many of these are in the exam that I got
- ATC (Aviation Theory Centre) Practice Exams – buy these from your friendly Pilot shop. Some of these questions were in the exam too, word for word
There are some questions that you just can’t directly prepare for, which you have to apply some common sense. For example, “If you were to fly over Cumulus Clouds, would it be: 1. Bumpy, 2. Smooth, 3. Heavy Turbulence”. Also, you need to be able to recognise Co-efficient of Lift. Anyway it is a huge relief to have this done, the rest is paperwork and of course kick-ass flying.
Anyway, what has me very interested at the moment is aerobatics! It has always been my intention to head back and get my Aerobatics rating in the Robins 2160. They are a couple of nice planes and I’ve enjoying going up in them a few times. I know I’d look forward to taking friends up. Anyway, when I mentioned at the new school that this was my intent. They mentioned that before I did that, have a look at the CT-4 they have on cross hire. I ignored this suggestion for quite some time, however after it was mentioned the last time, I thought I’d look into it.
Lets just say that I’m glad I did. Do you know what a CT-4 is? Well I’m going to tell you. It is the aircraft that is used for military training by the RAAF and RNZAF. Actually the RAAF sold all of theirs, to both private buyers and BAE systems. BAE systems bought a bunch and do the initial training / screening for the RAAF now. The long and short of it though, if you want to be an Air Force fighter pilot in Australia or New Zealand, you will be starting in a CT-4. In fact the Kiwi’s still use the CT-4 as the aircraft of their “Red Checkers” aerobatics display team. Have a gander at this video…
Everything I read and watched about the CT-4 has left me impressed. My lingering concern was that I’d do the flight training in the CT-4, but once that was done, I wouldn’t be able to use it to go solo or take friends up. As I haven’t been able to get much info on the CT-4, I put a call into the owner. He was a good bloke and spoke very highly of both of the instructors he allows to train in the aircraft. Both of whom I know too and would be happy with either of them. However he did answer my question, yes it would be ok to use after a check ride 🙂
So I guess I better get this PPL thing done then and then think about aerobatics. There’s a lot going on at the moment, so I guess I’ll have to look towards the later part of January to get the PPL completed. I do owe a special somebody an aero flight, so I have incentive and a date. Lets just say they maybe in for some fun when they visit late February 🙂 Will anybody else be game?