Real Answers from Real Pilots

Zero-to-CFII/MEI - Galen Card

That makes two of us! :laughing: except now. Now I am definitely glad that Dispatch does all the flight planning for me.

The landings will come. Congrats on completing your first solo!

Tory

Well, it’s done! 2 months and 11 days after starting at ATP with 76.1 hours of flight time, I’ve passed my PPL check ride!!
I’m ecstatic. A rare, big smile on my face! 1/1 so far! Let’s go!

On to instrument!! Unfortunately there likely won’t be any actual IFR flying here in Utah during the winter, where it’s frequently -7*C on the ground… The inversion might allow for pretty reduced visibility though. I’m excited to see!!
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Congrat Galen! Major checkbox on the way to your goal!

Keep the good work and don’t worry about the actual. It’ll come and there’s always foggles :wink:

Adam

Galen,

Congratulations! That is awesome and you are now officially a pilot.

I would not worry about the lack of IMC, the hood will take care of that. I trained in the winter as well, it can make for some great flying.

Chris

Galen,
Congrats! Looking back, my private checkride was one of the most stressful because you only hear horror stories and have no idea what to expect! Now you’ve got that under your belt, it’s just new skills being tested but you know what the checkride experience looks like and feels like. Seems not to long ago you made your first post… now you’re pilot!
-Hannah

Galen,

Big congratulations, this is a huge step forward in your program as it seems to knock the “concern” for future checkrides because you finally have an understanding of how checkrides go. Instrument flying is enjoyable, it brings new challenges that you as a private pilot may have not been faced with…but with those challenges brings rewards.

Keep up the great work, soon you’ll be ready for your next checkride and it only continues from there.

Brady

Thanks all for the encouragement!!
As I said, I’m excited, and still having fun!!

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I think I have a whopping 30 hours of actual instrument flight time logged in my book. I came into the airlines with 15-20? At the most? Most pilots instrument time is simulated, but of course it’s definitely a must to experience what actual ACTUALLY looks and feels like.

But congrats on passing your private pilot checkride! Wish we had photo evidence of this rare smile :smirk::wink:

Tory

Got that in there for ya! (I think? Not entirely sure how…) Had to get it from my instructor first.

That’s interesting about your actual instrument totals! Flying in the PNW I’d have thought it would be more! Would I be correct in thinking that VFR-on-top isn’t counted as actual instrument flight time since you’re not in IMC even though you have no visual references?

Nice!

Actually according to the book definition you can log instrument time whenever flying solely with reference to instruments.

I’m under-logging my instrument time. When I made it to the airlines I only logged actual whenever I logged an approach for currency (0.1 or 0.2) until I figured out that our OpSpecs actually only requires us to conduct 3 takeoffs and landings within 90 days in order to meet approach currency. I could be wrong, but I assume the OpSpecs is written this way because we fly an instrument approach 99% of the time even when we’re on a visual approach.

If I logged every minute of instrument time it would be in the 100’s, but it doesn’t get me anywhere (major airline application-wise), IMO, so I chose to not worry about it.

Tory

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Mid point of instrument training update!

This week I took both the IRA and FII, and had my progress check eval flight.

I’ll put my input here about not trying to do something else alongside ATP’s accelerated program.
I’m on the nine month program, probably one of the last ones to be so fortunate, but I’m moving at a quicker pace, about a month ahead of schedule. I also left a PhD program to come to ATP. I agreed when I left that I’d complete a master’s degree. Everything came to a head this week with the three things mentioned above, and the thesis defense for my degree. Lots going on and something had to suffer.
That was my test scores for the IRA (87%) and FII (78%). Not terrible, luckily I passed the FII, but definitely not what I’m capable of. I didn’t have the time to put towards them that I should have.

Other than that, the eval flight was nearly flawless, and the thesis defense went very well, but reminded me why I’m so glad I’m switching careers!!

I love flying!

Galen,
Thanks for the update and being transparent with us all here. It will help future and prospective students to hear the real challenges you face when juggling other priorities. Luckily you managed to get through everything without a failure. However, use this as a cautionary tale. Moving forward, the checkrides get harder and the timeline gets shorter. Think about your game plan for the next time all your priorities merge. If being an airline pilot is your top priority, it needs to take the top spot on your list of to do’s. I know I sound harsh but we want nothing but success for you! I wouldn’t be doing my job as a mentor if I didn’t give you brutal honesty.
-Hannah

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For sure. Now that I’ve finished the degree, it’s all flight school and family. Nothing else foreseeable should take up study time.

Okay good! Congrats on the degree! :slight_smile:

Galen,

Thank you for sharing your experience on this and showing why we do not recommend undertaking other endeavors while in ATP. I am glad that you are doing well and will be able to focus on your flight training. Thank you for the update.

Chris

FINALLY!! After about a three week delay for pretty much every reason in the book (weather, holidays, DPE availability) I passed my instrument checkride today!

It was a great checkride, and I don’t know how it could have gone better! DPE didn’t really have much to say either!

I’m so excited to finally keep moving forward!

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Galen,

That is awesome! Congratulations! I always thought that was the hardest checkride to get past.

Thank you for the update and great work!

Chris

Awesome job, Galen!

Have fun on Crew!

Tory

Galen,

Well done friend! It’s always a great feeling when you get the temporary certificate in your hand with signature, knowing the hardwork you’ve put in paid off.

Have fun on crew! Really soak up the fun memories you’ll make.

Brady

Congrats Galen!!! That’s a big one… best of luck heading in to CSEL. The program goes by in a blink of an eye from this stage!
-Hannah