Print Story How hard could it be? Birds do it...
I repeat: Attention FlightTest and webwench infidels

also, cooking, work, other dreck.



So, after talking it over and about it for the better part of our two hour phone conversation this weekend, janra and I have decided to look into getting our Pilot's licenses. Likely at one of these fine Establishments. We haven't decided for sure if we're going to do it yet, but we're looking into it seriously.

My question to the pilots of HuSi, what are good things to look for in a Flight School? We don't really have too many contacts in the local pilot community, so it's hard to get the inside skinny on the various schools. I'm leaning towards proifr mainly because I would like to get my float endorsement, and if we do take to it seriously, my Multi/IFR ratings as well. Of course, all their websites say that they're the best, so It's hard to find an objective opinion. Any thoughts, advice, warnings about venturing into the world of private piloting?

I've always had the geeky fascination with planes, and even went so far as to take ground-school when I was 14 (although never carried through with the practical end of things). I grew up in a small town that had a steady stream of Beaver and Cessna floatplanes ferrying people to and from my hometown to various outlying coastal areas, so much so that my picture of an airplane is a Beaver with floats and part of me still thinks that planes without floats look kinda funny :-)

Anyways, we're both excited about the prospect. I've been toying with the idea for a while lately (since I bought a copy of MS FlightSim in a fit of boredom on a business trip), and broached it with janra a week or so ago. Now the idea is growing on her as well. Really the main reason we're not rushing forward with it is... money. I mean, we're not poor or broke by any stretch of the imagination, but we have a mortgage, may need another vehicle, and I am going back to University in a year. We have to see if and how we can juggle things around first, but we can probably do it if we really set our minds to it.

Anyways, that's the exciting thing in my life, regular stuff follows.

janra is back in the Great White North for a shift. She has to get the new crew trained on a few things and help get the plant up and running for the summer. She should be back next week, and I will be quite happy to see her again...

Since janra has been gone, I've been having to fend for myself for food. Also, since we've moved, we're not close to our usual diner which has forced me to be much more diligent about cooking for myself. Fortunately, the close proximity of a good butcher and a new BBQ has made this much easier.

Work. Work is, well, interesting. Whenever I think it can't possibly get any busier it proves me wrong. In addition to my usual duties, one of the guys is out of the office for a couple of weeks so we're all trying to cover for him. Plus, all hell is breaking loose at a few customers. Good Times. Oh, did I mention that our T1 gateway on our production phone system kicked the bucket last week? Due to various reasons I won't get into right now, I'm in charge of the production phone servers, and apparently corporate IT decided that that included the gateway as well. Fortunately QA had one that fit the bill, so I've ended up "borrowing" that temporarily. Oh, did I mention that I've never worked with a Cisco gateway or T1 before? Gotta love learn as you go...

Oh yes, then I also learned that they're not procuring a new phone system for our imminent office move like I had been led to believe, and I will be expected to move our existing one. Course, nobody thought to tell me about this until I enquired to the status of the "new system". Thanks for the heads up, jackass!

That being said, we had our performance reviews last week. Well, actually, we just had our raises last week. Our boss hasn't had the time to do the actual reviews yet. He gave me an excellent rating and an even better raise. How he pulled it off I'm not sure, but I suspect he made a very successful pitch to his boss about wanting to keep me around rather than have me run off to Uni in the fall.

(Have I mentioned that I like my boss? He leads the charge to the pub, understands what I do, plays the company politics well and doesn't hesitate to cover our backs when it's all to frequently require)

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How hard could it be? Birds do it... | 18 comments (18 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback
WIPO by nebbish (4.00 / 1) #1 Tue May 09, 2006 at 01:43:34 AM EST
Not much in the way of arts there...

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It's political correctness gone mad!

hey, I thought of dancing! by MostlyHarmless (4.00 / 1) #6 Tue May 09, 2006 at 08:02:49 AM EST
yeah, you're right, I had outdoorsey stuff on my mind.

-mh
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[Mostly Harmless]

[ Parent ]
Flight Schools by me0w (4.00 / 1) #2 Tue May 09, 2006 at 02:44:56 AM EST
My Uncle lives in Port Hardy and currently flies a Beaver. If you'd like, I could ask him about flight schools and which one he would recommend.


"the only reason we PMS is because our uterus is screaming at our brain to go out, get fucked, and have a baby ... and it makes us angry."

Yeah, that'd be great, thanks by MostlyHarmless (2.00 / 0) #7 Tue May 09, 2006 at 08:05:36 AM EST
I think we talked about this before, but Port Hardy's just a bit farther up the island from where I grew up :-)

-mh
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[Mostly Harmless]

[ Parent ]
Having a good butcher by blixco (4.00 / 2) #3 Tue May 09, 2006 at 02:52:21 AM EST
makes all the difference in the world.  I used to have one, but the shop closed and they moved to a location south of Austin near Buda (pronounced "bee-you-duh").  When I had my yearly BBQs, I would get my meat from that shop and it was always fantastic.  Plus they could give me chain of ownership ("chain of evidence") for each cut.  This is nice if you're interested in local grass fed beef or the like; they guarantee it came from X herd and was slaughtered on X date.

Plus it's nice to hit up a meat counter with custom requests and have them be helpful.

If your butcher / meat counter has aged beef, now's the time to try it.  It's pricey, so being single helps.
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Taken out of context I must seem so strange - Ani DiFranco

And by single I mean by blixco (4.00 / 2) #4 Tue May 09, 2006 at 02:56:26 AM EST
the significant other is Away.
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Taken out of context I must seem so strange - Ani DiFranco
[ Parent ]
What??? by janra (4.00 / 3) #10 Tue May 09, 2006 at 01:56:15 PM EST
What makes you think I'd object to a quality cut of beef? I'd object more if I were left out!

I'd probably lead the way to the butcher shop. It's MY BBQ, dammit.
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Discuss the art and craft of writing

[ Parent ]
hehe by MostlyHarmless (4.00 / 2) #11 Tue May 09, 2006 at 02:59:50 PM EST
have I mentioned my wife is a confirmed omnivore?

(and yes, technically the BBQ was her birthday present from her parents, but...)

-mh
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[Mostly Harmless]

[ Parent ]
Well, by blixco (2.00 / 0) #12 Tue May 09, 2006 at 03:46:50 PM EST
if it's a wagyu or a decent aged steak, it can cost $50 to $70 a pound.  That's a LOT for two.
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Taken out of context I must seem so strange - Ani DiFranco
[ Parent ]
It's a lot for one, too by janra (4.00 / 1) #13 Tue May 09, 2006 at 04:34:27 PM EST
And I'd be rather miffed if mh went and had something like that without sharing.
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Discuss the art and craft of writing
[ Parent ]
True, by blixco (2.00 / 0) #14 Wed May 10, 2006 at 01:42:13 AM EST
true.  Jeez.  You're not supposed to be reading hia diaries while you're out of town.  What if he blogs about strip joints and cheap wine?
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Taken out of context I must seem so strange - Ani DiFranco
[ Parent ]
sheesh! by MostlyHarmless (4.00 / 1) #18 Wed May 10, 2006 at 03:07:05 PM EST
You don't think I post about all that under this account do you? Besides, if it was just strippers and cheap wine, it wouldn't be a problem...

-mh
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[Mostly Harmless]

[ Parent ]
Flight Schools by sasquatchan (4.00 / 1) #5 Tue May 09, 2006 at 05:08:32 AM EST
whatever you do, don't tell the instructor you don't need to learn how to land the plane..

But a school ? For commercial license ? Several co-workers took lessons at the rinky-dink little airport near my home. Seems you pay for the lesson, learn takeoff/landings (and touch-gos) then eventually get your solo certificate. Between that and ground school, you'll get your 'basic' license.

Then, after enough hours in your log book, you can start doing (training? applying?) for all the other stuff (instrument/IFR, twin engine, etc).

So what's a school buy you that the local airport lessons wont ?

Landings are *not* optional by MostlyHarmless (4.00 / 1) #8 Tue May 09, 2006 at 08:35:37 AM EST
I don't think there's anything different about what your co-workers did and the flight school. In this case, the airport doesn't offer instruction, a private company does or the Flying Club. In any case, it works out to about the same cost, as I have to spend 45 hours in an airplane regardless and that's the expensive part. Dunno about in the States, but up here in Canuckistan it's a little bit more to it than "takeoff/landings/touch'n'gos" and you're set :-)

-mh
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[Mostly Harmless]

[ Parent ]
well, if by sasquatchan (4.00 / 1) #9 Tue May 09, 2006 at 09:20:58 AM EST
you're a terrarist, landings are always optional ;)

[ Parent ]
You paged? by webwench (4.00 / 2) #15 Wed May 10, 2006 at 04:05:26 AM EST
Me being USian, and you being Canuckistanian, I won't be able to advise very well about how your licensing works, and not being local, I don't know anything about those schools in particular, but I can advise on how to go about picking an instructor, I suppose.

Here in the US, we have two types of flight schools, called Part 61 and Part 141. Part 141 schools are more structured and operate under an FAA-approved curriculum, while part 61 schools are less regulated -- you work to your instructor's curriculum. Either can be good, part 141 tends to be more consistent. Find out if you have a similar setup in Canada, so you know basically what varieties of school you're considering.

The best way to pick from your list, I think, is to visit each school, and you can learn a lot from just keeping your eyes open in the facility. Call ahead and set up an appointment to talk to an instructor; this can include an intro flight if you like, and an intro flight gives you a chance to eyeball the airplanes too.

I'm sure I'll think of more; if I do, I'll post more comments.


Getting more attention than you since 1998.

oh yeah by webwench (4.00 / 1) #16 Wed May 10, 2006 at 04:12:20 AM EST
The biggest thing that sets people back in their training, extends their training and costs them money, would be interruptions to the training schedule, often caused by money problems, and sometimes caused by work demands. To make the most of your training, make sure you can carve out enough time and money in your own schedule and finances to fly consistently. Plan on two lessons a week if you can, and more if possible.

AND... to save money, see if each school has some sort of policy allowing or encouraging students to back-seat observe other students' lessons. You can learn so much by sitting in the back seat and watching/listening rather than performing, and not only is that usually free, but it's also good for the student pilot, who is gaining experience in carrying passengers and dealing with distractions. It's win-win.


Getting more attention than you since 1998.

[ Parent ]
I paged... by MostlyHarmless (2.00 / 0) #17 Wed May 10, 2006 at 03:00:12 PM EST
That was exactly the kind of thing I was looking for, and you delivered it in spades! I think that comment is longer than my entire diary :-)

I appreciate it, I'm going to print this out and keep it in my pocket while visiting the various schools.

From your description, it sounds like Canada doesn't have Part 41 style schools here. Everything is done based on Transport Canada regs and recommendations.

Thanks again!

-mh
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[Mostly Harmless]

[ Parent ]
How hard could it be? Birds do it... | 18 comments (18 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback