Starting My Journey!

After several delays due to high winds, passed my TOL eval this morning! Finally had some of my smoothest landings despite a bit of a crosswind, and we had an insane amount of birds around the airfield. We were navigating through them in the pattern, during takeoff and on short final, so that was a fun added challenge!

Excited to move on to solo prep and continue to develop on the skills I’ve learned!

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Brad,

Awesome work, keep it up. I am glad you did not pull a Sully.

Chris

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Brad,

Congratulations on passing the TOL Evaluation! Up next will be the Solo Evaluation and then off you go, keep up the good work.

Brady

Brad,

Congrats! I hope that successful first evaluation ride helped cement your confidence as a PIC. :slight_smile:

Hannah

Took longer than expected with weather/priority/airplane availability causing some delays early in the solo prep block, but I completed my first solo flight this morning! 11/11/2023 and N542A will be locked in my memory the rest of my life and it was an amazing experience and definite confidence-booster!

The flight was anything from typical. I took off Runway 27 in reported calm winds. While still on upwind, tower alerted me winds changed to 120 at 6, so ATC gave me the option to land Runway 9 which I took. So my first “lap” was really me just flying to the NW to catch an extended left downwind to turn around to land on Runway 9. After my second landing, winds changed to 140 at 6, so ATC had me change my taxi route to head down to Runway 18. My third landing ended up being one of my smoothest to date, and I was able to hold the nosewheel off the ground for a long time (something I had been looking to nail down lately).

It’s a surreal feeling to know I can fly an airplane completely alone, a month and a half after starting with zero experience. Excited for what’s to come and to continue building my skills!

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Congrats! Feels good doesn’t it?

Adam

Brad,

Congrats on the solo! Great picture, as well. Good choice to continue the switch of runways, even the slightest tailwind can throw off your standardized landing.

Brady

Brad,
Pretty cool indeed! Just imagine that exponential growth you’ll have 5 and a half months from now when nearly completing the program! Keep up the hard work!

-Hannah

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Brad,

Awesome news and congratulations!! Sound like a very non-typical standard experience, but that you nailed it.

Keep up the good work!

Also, thank you for the picture!

Chris

Checking in with an update after a long absence! Yesterday I earned my Private certificate!

Unfortunately back in November, I failed my first attempt at the Solo XC Eval shortly after my first solo. The main reason being I messed up some initial coms on the first leg and let that rattle me and had it snowball the rest of the flight. Certainly was a low point at the moment, but I can honestly say in hindsight it made me a much better pilot learning how to stay ahead of the plane better and I actually feel pretty comfortable on coms as a whole now (though I know I’m about to learn a whole new side with instrument).

I passed the re-eval soon after, but unfortunately I just kept hitting a bad cycle of weather (usually low clouds, particularly at one of our legs in Brainerd, MN). Essentially I would be cleared for the Solo XC and then my 10 day clock would keep expiring due to bad weather and then I would need to re-fly the route since you need to have flown the route and have 5 hours in the prior 10 days. This cycle happened probably 4-5 times.

I finally was able to finish this solo phase on Sunday, then powered through the private mock checkride and 6 hours of checkride prep flights Monday and Tuesday before having the checkride on Wednesday. Definitely was a mad sprint to the finish!

I also want to stress that I am in no way complaining about the delays. ATP has their requirements for releasing students on solo flights for very good reason. I also knew my particular location was susceptible to delays with it being in MN and talking it through during my admissions flight back in June.

I’m just very excited to be 1 for 1 on checkride attempts and to dive into instrument training. Fingers crossed as the weather warms up my training will speed up the rest of the way!

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Congrats Brad! You’re a pilot!

Keep up the hard work and the great attitude!

Adam

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Brad,

It seems like you had a short adversity and overcame it, with passing your Solo XC Eval the second time. That is a HUGE eval and sometimes revisiting it may be the best solution.

Keep up this momentum and congratulations on becoming a pilot! Hit the ground running in instrument and you’ll be fine.

Brady

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Brad,

Awesome work, congratulations!!! Thank you for the picture and the update. I found the instrument to be the most difficult part of training. Just keep plowing through and get int hat simulator as much as possible.

Chris

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Had my instrument eval yesterday morning and it went very well overall. The instructor said I “crushed it”. He had plenty of notes but all minor things to work on/suggestions for workload management, etc. It also included my first experience with actual IMC (though very briefly). Definitely a totally different feeling and you really get a sense at how those illusions can creep in if you aren’t keeping a consistent instrument scan.

I then had a flight yesterday evening switching over to flying a G1000 for the first time (have only been on G500 until then). I love all the tools and situational awareness it provides! I just need to get used to the new muscle memory and have my scan adjusted on where to look for certain things.

Overall I very much enjoy instrument flying and the structure it provides. My ground knowledge is at a decent point for now but I definitely want to shore it up more as much as I can. Tentatively have my checkride scheduled for April 1st and still have a lot of flights to knock out before then. My plan is to feel checkride ready by that date whether it gets delayed or not. It has definitely been a sprint but loving the change of pace!

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Brad,

This is a nice update. It’s a game changer having the G1000 avionics, while the G500 is fantastic itself, the G1000 is next level. These next few days are going to fly by and soon you’ll be in the checkride. Have you gone through the ACS and taken notes on items that are to be expected of you, per the table in the appendix? Also going over the ACS codes from the AKT?

Please keep us updated when you get a chance, after your checkride.

Brady

Brady

I’m so glad you got to experience this! The foggles/hood is good for training but to be able to experience what it’s like in the clouds and connect the risks associated with it, that’s next level learning!

Keep up the good work!

Hannah

Brad,

Thanks for the update,. I am glad to hear that you are doing well in the program. Please keep the updates coming.

Chris

Happy to report that I passed my instrument checkride yesterday! Once again got caught up in delays due to weather.

My instrument training actually went pretty quick but then waited nearly a month to do the checkride after rescheduling numerous times for high winds/turbulence. At that point I was able to do the oral for my checkride, but then discontinued because winds once again picked up. I then ultimately had to wait another 2 weeks before being able to finally get the flight in yesterday.

The oral portion went very well, and the extra study time definitely paid off. For the flight, it was 3 different approaches at my home airport which meant briefing and getting the next approach set up a fast pace. On top of him having me talk through emergency scenarios throughout.

I actually went to our nearby Flying Cloud location quite a bit while waiting for this flight so I could use their Fresca sim which offers G1000 avionics we use in our plane. I actually practiced the same route we used in the checkride several times so that definitely paid off!

Hopefully a little faster pace from here on out, but focusing on controlling what I can control - 2 for 2 on checkrides so far and looking to keep that going.

Excited for TAA training and crew!

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Brad,

That is excellent news, congratulations!! I have always thought that the instrument ride was the most difficult of them all, the others just build on things that you know.

Thank you for the update, keep them coming.

Chris

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