Well finally after four months, my 3rd class medical certificate and my student pilot certificate showed up in the mail! Some of you might be wondering what all the fuss is about. Well I’ll tell you. First of all your 3rd class medical serves as your official student pilot certificate. Kind of like your learners permit when you’re learning to drive a car. “But John, you’ve BEEN flying, so why do you need that?” That’s true, I have been flying. According to Part 61.109 of the FAR/AIM I need to have a minimum of 40 hours of flight training, of which 20 hours must be dual instruction and 10 hours must be solo flight. So I’ve been doing my dual instruction flights in the absence of my Student Pilot Certificate, so technically I haven’t been a student pilot until now. I must have my Student Pilot Certificate to Solo. So … Read More
Great Flight Lesson Today!
Today, as I posted about earlier, I found out on the FAA’s database, my 3rd class medical is in the mail. With any luck it will be here Thursday or Friday. I had a flight lesson scheduled for today and when I arrived, Meg, my instructor, had a present for me. My presolo written exam. Fortunately it’s a take home test, and there is no time limit. So I’ll be hitting the books over the next week or so making sure I get this done. Can’t solo until it’s done and I’ve passed it. That “S” word is coming up more and more lately. I’ve really got to work on my landings before I’m going to feel comfortable soloing. I don’t know if ANYONE feels comfortable soloing?? But it’s an incredibly special thing and I’m super excited that Meg is even HINTING at it!! I mean what percentage of the … Read More
Time To Start Wearing Shirts I Hate to The Airport!
Last week I called the FAA office of aerospace medicine here in WA State and inquired about the status of my 3rd class medical certificate. The guy I spoke to, Shawn, was really helpful and told me that he could see all my medical records were received, they were scanned in, and a letter had been written with a special issuance 3rd class medical attached. It was just waiting for a signature. So I put a note on my front door telling the letter carrier I was waiting for a VERY IMPORTANT letter from the FAA and if she could, pleas call me when it arrives. (All of their communication thus far has been sent registered mail). Nothing all week. So yesterday I called again. The nice lady that picked up the phone gave me the same story that it was there (In Oklahoma City) just waiting to be signed. … Read More
My First Cross Country Flight
Today (Sunday) I hit another milestone in my flight training, my first cross country flight! As I’ve mentioned before a cross country flight is a flight more than 50 nautical miles from your home airport. The plan today was to fly from KPLU (Thun Field) to KHQM (Hoquiam). My flight lesson started at 9:00 AM, and I booked 4 hours of time. I got up at 7AM and started plotting my course on the Sectional Chart and filling out my flight plan. I quickly realized I hadn’t allowed myself enough time to plan this flight! It’s crazy that a 2 hour flight, takes that long to plan. I’m sure as I get better at it I will be faster, but today there definitely was a steep learning curve. I called Lockheed Martin Flight Services for a standard weather briefing. Told them we’d be cruising from KPLU to KHQM at … Read More
A Couple of Flight Lessons and Cpap Update
Last week I flew a couple of times. Once on Wednesday and again yesterday, Sunday. I scheduled both lessons later in the day so as not to have to deal with the low clouds. Wednesday at 3 PM was great! We took off from Thun field (KPLU) and headed to Tacoma Narrows (KTIW). Meg told me she didn’t want to do anything that day but be in “Toad Mode”, meaning she wanted to just check my proficiency and listen to me talk to the tower at KTIW. KPLU is a non-towered airport so the pilots just talk to each other to let one another know what they’re doing. At KTIW you have to talk to the tower and ground control to get instructions on what to do. We took off from KPLU without incident, I think my takeoff was better than most of them. A bit of a crosswind, but … Read More
Back on the Cpap Again…
Yesterday I spent the bulk of my morning at the Medical Supply place at St Clare hospital getting my new Cpap machine and getting fitted for a couple of masks. This was an entirely different experience from my last machine, my Bipap machine. The last time the medical equipment company basically just gave me the machine, a couple of instructions and sent me on my way. There wasn’t a ton of time fitting masks or really going over the machine or anything. It was horrible in comparison to what I did yesterday. The person took her time to really explain the machine, how it works, how to clean it, how to change settings and more importantly making sure I had a mask that fit well. I actually paid for a second mask just so I didn’t have to go back if I didn’t like the first mask. She also took … Read More
Flying Today! And Excited About CPap?
I have a flight lesson today at 1:30PDT and I’m super stoked to get back in the air!! It’s been a few weeks since I’ve flown, so I’m sure I’ll have to relearn some stuff, but I’m excited none the less. Last time we flew my flight instructor said we’d head over to KTIW (Tacoma Narrows Airport) and do some pattern work there. I hope that’s still the case because it would be REALLY cool to actually land at another airport! (Baby steps!) But of course I’m still waiting for my 3rd class medical to come in as well. After my Sleep Study last week, I’ve been bugging the ladies at the sleep clinic to push my results through to the Pulmonary Specialists that have to review them and dictate them. After that happens, it goes back to my doctor and she can write a prescription for a new CPap … Read More
Sleep Study – 3rd Class Medical Adventures Continued
As previously mentioned, I received a letter from the FAA requesting more information from me regarding a variety of things they found in my medical records. Specifically Sleep Apnea. I had severe Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) in 2008ish and went in for a sleep study and was placed on a BiPap machine. Now I never felt like I got a great nights sleep on that machine, but it was better than dying. After losing 70 ish pounds the BiPap pressure was too high and I never went in to get it adjusted. I just stopped using it. Fast forward 5 years and in trying to obtain my 3rd class medical the FAA notices Sleep Apnea in my medical records and they want reports from my machine stating it’s controlled. Since I can’t produce those reports, I had my doc refer me to get another sleep study. I just returned home … Read More