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On Auto-Pilot

It's almost as if I had forgotten to post to my weblog completely in recent weeks!

I guess I've been busy with the Airads business and just as importantly, finishing-off my commercial pilot's license.

Having passed the final flight test (GFT) , with no more right to fly in God's clean air than a weasel or at least I'm sure the CAA examiner thought so, now what? The GFT and the pre-test, the 170A were each two hours of stress-filled torture that left me wondering why, at my age, I was putting myself through it. Almost two years of my life has been lost in cramming for the exams and learning to fly with the absolute precision demanded of a commercial pilot.

After over ten years of flying about, you might think that I could fly already. True, but rather like taking an advanced driving test, one has to be able to demonstrate control and knowledge of a complex aircraft in a manner which is acceptable to the CAA and their examiners as a public transport pilot. It comes as a rude shock!

Working-up to the flight exam is rather like honing oneself for the Olympics in anticipation of the skills tests. As an example, one has to memorise the emergency checklists because there's absolutely no point in trying to read a checklist when the examiner throws a fire drill and or engine failure at you. If you get the checks out of sequence, it's a fail and the stress factor is something else; which is all part of the course, seeing if the candidate panics or makes critical mistakes.

Anyway, it's all over now and the next step is the Instrument Rating on multi-engines, perhaps followed by a type-rating on small business jets if I can justify the costs.

I'm just reminded that the aircraft pictured crashed within a few hundred yards of where I live sixty years ago this week!

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