Tuesday, October 17, 2006

First non-school flight!

Last week I received an anonymous COD letter. I had to pay a little more than SEK 4500 to get it out. But as I fairly well knew what the contents of that letter would be, i gladly put up that money.

And yes, it really was my pilot license. At last. More than one year after my initial flight. And most of the time has been spent waiting for different things. First the student permit, then a new aircraft, then vacations and then for the final paperwork. And I had to wait even more before I could start flying. We had a small trip planned for the weekend, so I had to wait until today before I could make my first private flight.

Unfortunately the weather wasn't too good today. Cloud base at less than 2000 feet, 9 km visibility and some crosswinds. And it seems like it's becoming worse the next few days. But anyway, today was mostly a practice flight. I flew to Stegeborg, made a couple of turns in various directions and returned for a total of eight landings (no, I didn't bounce, they were separate landings).
The flying went better than expected, and it felt really good to be out on my own.

I have summarized the costs for my flying lessons, in case someone is curious:

Ground class admission fee: 2750 SEK
Literature: 680 SEK
Flying club membership: 1105 SEK
Medical examinations: 2000 SEK
Student permit: 666 SEK
Various maps and other stuff from KSAB: 1760 SEK
Flying lessons: 9600 SEK
Issue of license: 850 SEK
Fuel costs for travels between Linköping and Norrköping: 3000 SEK

This adds up to 22400 SEK. However bear in mind that I have previously had a glider pilot license, taken some PPL lessons and do some simulator flying at work. This has probably reduced the needed number of flying lessons. But on the other hand, that is perhaps compensated by the costs for my travels between Linköping and Norrköping and that my medical exams got extra expensive because of my eye problems. However, in any case, I would say that this is an extremely affordable way of flying.

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Final school flight

I'm sorry that I've really neglected this blog since the flying lessons started. Somehow I lost the motivation to blog about stuff.

I have had a great time taking all these flying lessons. I have made a lot of touch-and-go landings and flewn some navigation trips. Both with and without my instructor. My glider pilot experience have shortned the learning path, reducing the number of lessons needed.

Today I flew to Gotland together with my instructor. That's actually an international flight (sort of). Half-way there we were outside of sweden's territory for a while. It was a beautiful view from FL95 (i.e. 9500 feet). The weather was perfect. Unfortunately I didn't bring a camera.

The only mishap was that our transponder stopped working shortly after take-off from Visby. Not very popular with the flight controllers. So we had to stay outside of controlled airspace. But since most of the route was outside controlled airspace anyway, this wasn't much of a problem...

This was my final school flight. Now I just have to wait for all paperwork to be finished...

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Flying lesson and ground class examination

A couple of months have passed since I got my student permit. I have been terribly busy, with several business trips, a skiing trip, the flu and a lot of work. And besides that, the new aircraft hasn't been ready until quite recently.

Today we were going to have a practice exam of the ground class (at least that was what I thought). This was a good opportunity to take up the flying lessons again. I called my teacher Mats and scheduled a lesson an hour before the exam.

The weather was almost perfect for a nice flying lesson. The only negative parts were some clouds in the distance obscuring the horizon. And the new aircraft was really nice. It is equipped with a large EFIS (Electronic Flight Instrument System) replacing the old iron instruments. I'm used to this from the simulators at work, and I think it's a good idea. I hope the reliability is good though, because there aren't any redundant instruments...

We practiced some turns, stalls and some quite basic stuff. With a new aircraft and new instrumentation it was quite good with some repetition.

When we had landed it was time for the practice exam. However, by some lack of communication, I hade missed the fact that it wasn't really a practice exam. It was the real thing. Oops. Maybe I should have studied a little... Fortunately the exam wasn't too hard, so I passed. I would have preffered a better result, but it isn't that important.

Total logged time: 0.9 hours (accumulated: 3.2 hours)
Total cost: SEK 644 (accumulated: 6584)
(I need to verify these sums)

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

At last!

Today I received my student permit. Finally. It just took a little less than six months... (But I am of course happy anyway. A long wait is much better than a rejection.)

I hope this is the end of authorities-related posts in this blog. From now on I will be able to focus on flying related stuff. However, the flying club's new ultralight aircraft isn't in service yet. So I can't take any flying lessons for the moment. But to actually have the student permit gives me a lot more inspiration to study the theoretical part. The examination will be quite soon, so it's about time I get on with the studying...

Monday, January 09, 2006

Some Progress

Last week i contacted the authorities once again to find out why nothing had happened yet. But this time something had actually happened. As I understood it, my application has been accepted. But since all procedures have taken so long time, I need to renew my medical examination before the permission is issued. Otherwise my permission wouldn't last more than a couple of months, which is probably not enough time for me to finish the flight training.

The authorities had actually sent me a letter about this some days ago. But obviously they hadn't updated my address in their records. So the letter was sent to my previous address, and hence delayed for a week.

This renewed medical examination is a simple procedure, basically just a form to fill out and some minor tests, like blood pressure etc. Any medical doctor is allowed to perform that examination. But since my company have a couple of authorized medical examiners (AME), I thought it would be easiest to see one of them. They should know more about the required procedures than a random doctor. However, the company doctors wanted to charge me 8-900 SEK, which I think is just a little too much for filling out a form. Instead I called Anders Svensson, an excellent AME who made my initial medical examination almost five years ago. I will see him this thursday.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

No news is no news

We returned from our 3.5 week vacation yesterday. I had expected to find something from the aviation authorities in the mail. But of course, there wasn't anything from them at all.

Four months have passed since my application was initially filed. And almost two months have passed since i made the eye examination. Normal processing time should be something like two weeks. I must really be a difficult case.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

I'm still here

I haven't posted anything here for a long while. That doesn't mean I have given up or something. However, I'm still waiting for my "elevtillstånd". I called the authorities the other day to check if something was stalling the process.
The answer I got was that the results from my eye exam hadn't been sent to their eye specialist until November 8 (I don't know why they waited for almost a whole month before sending it). The expected time with the eye specialist was "less than a month". After that I don't know what will happen.

But besides the uncertainty, the delay is currently not a huge problem. The flying club has just sold their sole ultralight aircraft. And a replacement won't be available until February. So even if I had my permission, I wouldn't be able to take any flying lessons. And besides that, we're going away on vacation for almost the entire month of December.