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 …