Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Dang. A stinkin’ 93%

This is the first of about 4 Pre-Tests and all I got was a 93%.
The good news is that I reinforced what I thought was wrong on how I test.
The 60+ questions focused on Airplanes and Aerodynamics Airplane Instruments, Engines, and Systems and the questions were fairly simple. It took about 30 minutes.
Now that I am officially taking Ground School, I am reminded of the seriousness of study, and why you need to so many details when flying.
I curse at the repetition, yet I see the advantages.
Well, on to Airports, Air Traffic Control, and Airspace.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

The decision was made and I started today ...

... taking the 61 class with Gleim.
With soooo much coming up with moving, doing a major fund raiser, and things for my parents, it was easier to log on and take GS when I could. Besides, I been getting 85%+/- on my sample tests.
I hope to get my written done in the next 30 days.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Out of the blue test.

It’s a cold 15 degrees today. I have been doing the laundry and house junk. I am bored so I decided to take a sample 60 question sample FAA Private Pilot exam with MyWrittenExam.com.
I am NOT happy about my score.
I feel confident about passing my test. In fact, I am going to take a break from studying and just wait for my official ground school.
An 85% is less than the 95% that I am shooting for. That’s 50 out of 60 questions that I got right. I need to get 57 out of 60 to get my 95%.
Once again I missed because I did not read the questions PROPERLY. I tested better and smarter than before. I just did not read the questions in a way that would have lead me to the right answer.
I'll get it together. Really.

Friday, December 19, 2008

THIS is what I am in for??

This is a video of an oral exam to get your license. I answered about 90% of the questions asked to the student, so I am in the ballpark. Watch, I'll get an examiner with a bad attitude.


It's snowing outside!! YUCK. Today's avation weather is: KBKL 191800Z 00000KT 1 1/4SM BR BKN007 OVC011 02/01 A2955 RMK AO2 UPE1754 CIG 003V009. That means BAD WEATHER.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Sitting with the best in history

The best of the best. Fellow Clevelander LeBron James? Nope. Wayne Gretzky? Nope. Tiger Woods? Nope.

The Tuskegee Airmen? Absolutely! Now we’re talking. I am joining the local chapter of the Tuskegee Airmen. These men were the best combat pilots in history. In World War II, the Airmen flew escort for bombers. Flying escort means is that fighter aircraft, (in their case, P-51s) fly side by side with the less agile bombers (usually B-17s) to their target and back home to the airbase.

The Tuskegee Airmen throughout the war were the only fighter squadron to never lose a bomber. Hundreds of bombing missions were flown and not one bomber was show down while being escorted by the Tuskegee Airmen. Understand how important this is to America. These were a black fighter group, in World War II where were facing not only the enemy, but they were facing racism that barely allowed them to fly, let alone be fighter pilots. Back in the 1940s, blacks could not even sweep most airports; therefore, these brave fighter pilots were accomplishing a task that was monumental. Here are more facts:

  • The Tuskegee Airmen were dedicated, determined young men who volunteered to become America's first Black military airmen

  • Tuskegee University was awarded the U.S. Army Air Corps contract to help train America’s first Black military aviators because it had already invested in the development of an airfield, had a proven civilian pilot training program and its graduates performed highest on flight aptitude exams.

  • The all-Black, 332nd Fighter Group consisted originally of four fighter squadrons, the 99th, the 100th, the 301st and the 302nd.

  • From 1940-1946, some 1,000 Black pilots were trained at Tuskegee.

  • The Airmen’s success during World War II – not losing a single bomber to enemy fire in more than 200 combat missions – is a record unmatched by any other fighter group.

  • The 99th Squadron distinguished itself by being awarded two Presidential Unit Citations (June-July 1943 and May 1944) for outstanding tactical air support and aerial combat in the 12th Air Force in Italy, before joining the 332nd Fighter Group.

  • The 332nd Fighter Group was awarded the Presidential Unit Citation for its longest bomber escort mission to Berlin, Germany, March 24, 1945. It destroyed three German ME-262 Jet fighters and damaged five additional jet fighters without losing any of the bombers or any of its own fighter aircraft to enemy fighters.

  • The 332nd Fighter Group had also distinguished itself in June 1944 when two of its pilots flying P-47 Thunderbolts discovered a German destroyer in the harbor of Trieste, Italy.

  • The tenacious bomber escort cover provided by the 332nd "Red Tail" fighters often discouraged enemy fighter pilots from attacking bombers escorted by the 332nd Fighter Group.

  • C. Alfred "Chief" Anderson earned his pilot's license in 1929 and became the first BlackAmerican to receive a commercial pilot's certificate in 1932, and, subsequently, to make a transcontinental flight.

  • Anderson is also well known as the pilot who flew Eleanor Roosevelt, wife of then-U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt, convincing her to encourage her husband to authorize military flight training at Tuskegee.

For more info visit http://www.tuskegeeairmen.org/.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Next Stop, Ground School

I hate classroom settings. So, for ground school I am going on-line and taking either Gleim Ground School or Sporty’s Ground School. I have reviewed both and have come very close to a decision. I plan to take class in early January 2009, and test by February 10, 2009.

Currently I am pre-schooling myself to get back into the habit of seriously studying, a subject that you can not take lightly. I am finding that old bad habits are not to be taken lightly and need to be corrected. For instance, I scan a lot instead of reading. In my pre-tests I have missed at least 3-4 questions by scanning. My grades will range from mid 70’s to low 80’s. This is not acceptable!

Today’s quick 20 question quiz left me feeling better with a 90. So, actually slowing down and reading really works. Of the 2 that I missed should have gotten one if I had opened the study book and looked on the printed chart instead of trying to read the laptop screen. The other one was interpolation on a chart that is so small that it should be illegal to expect people to use on a test.

So, to really pass I need to make sure that I slow my roll for safety’s sake.

I love these on-line tests because I can see my weaknesses and correct them by reading the study books and guides and also ask in the AOPA Forum.

I am hoping to answer 57 of the 60 questions when I officially take the FAA test. Years and years ago I got an 88% and that was without the aid of on-line tests and tremendous study guides.

By the way, I am strongly leading to the Gleim because I can take the 141 ground school which is a bit more structured study. The school that I have chosen, T&G may become a 141 school. I saw that they had Gleim books in their showcase, so I should try to keep them happy … right?

Here we go. A brief overview.

You are going to see a wide range of rants on this blog.

As a young boy I was scared of planes. On my second trip on American Airlines from seeing my dad in Nashville, flying back to Cleveland, I was hooked. As I remember, it was a Lockheed Electra.

Over time I read every flying book that I could get my hands on.

I took my first flying lesson at the age of 14 at
Cornelia Fort Airpark in Nashville. That $30 intro ride was the clincher. It was in a Cessna 172 with Joe Smiley as my flight instructor. My dad was in the back seat and not once did he squawk over my (lack of) taxi skills. But, my in air skills were dead on. Joe talked me through the maneuvers and my first landing was a nice, no, wait … it was a PERFECT full stall landing.

My lessons continued years later in Cleveland, mostly at the defunct Chagrin Falls Airport (5G1). I had problems with my Class 3 due to being monocular (less than 20/100 corrected vision in one eye), so I was under a different criteria. I found out what that criterion was after fighting for 9 years. Once I took this information to my eye doctor, he fitted me with new contact lenses and I had my medical within 2 months. But, by then my flying money was squandered on things that guys in their 2o's like to do.

I always had my love for flying, and finally decided to pursue. I had a decent job, a medical in hand and had to remove a couple of obstructions from my life. Other people had other plans for me and I put flying on hold.

I went through a liver transplant in 1997 and gave up on the dream. I still followed aviation, but never went to small airports. In 2007 I had a liver/kidney transplant, and all but gave up on flying at all. While still in the transplant ward in the Cleveland Clinic, something told me to just look up info on transplants and medical approval. SHAZAM!!! There WERE pilots with transplants. So, I was smiling ear to ear with a new liver and new kidney and the chances of a medical.

On April 1 I applied for my medical at the Cleveland Clinic and had small but realistic hopes to pass once my records were sent to Oklahoma City for approval. Actually the fear was over my clinically diagnosed depression and less about my liver and kidney.

All of the paperwork was sent and I waited and waited. I received a letter that requested more and more information. I expected a 8-9 month wait while the FAA did their stuff. I received another letter and this one was thicker. Thicker envelopes meant that a LOT of info needed was still needed, or a long list of reasons for you being rejected. I opened the letter and read the news. What was enclosed was …