Today I had my PPL Skills test and I passed! Ecstatic isn’t the word! It’s such a relief to finally feel like my ambition and dream is becoming a reality. I have taken the first step, some may say the biggest step and I am now well on my way to becoming a commercial pilot.
Over the past few weeks, I have been completing my PPL at Advanced Flight Training based at Sherburn aerodrome which is east of Leeds. As part of my degree, during the first year, we have to complete 10 hours of practical flying instruction. Fortunately, this can be counted towards the PPL and therefore after this, I only required around ten hours more to meet the PPL licensing standards of 45 hours minumum.
During my time at Sherburn, I had to adjust to the different procedures and a much smaller runway! I began by re-visiting circuits and completing my solo consolidation, gaining upto four hours in the Tayside and Sherburn circuit collectively. Following this, I moved on to navigation and radio navigation, which I initially found quite challenging. However, eventually something clicked and I completed my solo nav’s and my solo QXC, which was from Sherburn to Beverley, Beverley to Nottingham and finally, Notthingham back to Sherburn. These solo experiences were really great fun, being able to buzz around the country on a route you have planned by yourself is really rewarding. Finally, I had a lesson on precautionary landings and Instrument Flying and latterly, a mock skills test.
Today’s skills test was very challenging, the weather caused a change in runways from a long tarmac runway, to short grass runway with a shorter circuit to avoid the nearby Leeds East (Church Fenton) Airspace. The test consisted of two navigation legs with an unplanned diversion and two PFL’s, general handling including stalling in various configurations and finally, circuits including a flapless, a glide approach and a bad weather circuit. After shutting the aircraft down, the examiner told me I had passed and I then went on to complete the paperwork!
Once my licence is through I will start hour buiding and no doubt bring up some of the family after a while to show them the sights from 3000 feet! I cannot wait!