Saturday, April 28, 2007


Not a Pilot Anymore?

It's been over three months since my last flight (Last Flight?). The flight school has left messages asking why they haven't seen me for a while.

If I want to fly one of the flight school's planes now, I'll have to fly with an instructor. Their insurance company requires that pilots go no more than 90 days without a flight to remain "current," and I've exceeded that.

As far as the FAA is concerned, I am legal to fly until November, when the two-year anniversary of my checkride happens. After that, I'll need to do a flight review with a certified instructor. But what the FAA thinks doesn't matter as much as what airplane owners think: if I have to rent a plane, I need to play by the owner's rules.

It was a beautiful day today in Georgia. Nice puffy clouds, good visibility, 10-knot winds. It would have been a great day to fly. But I know that a month from now, the hazy thunderstorm-filled summer season will start, making recreational flying impossible.

So, I'm thinking that I'm not going to bother with flying until September or October, if at all. It's a long time to wait, but by then, maybe I'll be able to afford it again.

90 day currency? Must be nice - every rental outfit I talk to around here only allows about 30.

Even commercial pilots only get 45 days at the FBO I rent out of.
The school that I'm with has a 60 policy.

Sounds to me like you don't have anyone to fly with, and I know first hand that flying alone is extremely boring.

I suggest that you get out to the airport and start meeting some of the other pilots, and before long you'll be going for flights in empty seats and offering to take other aviation nuts with you when you go flying. It's also nice to have somebody to take over the controls for a few minutes so you can just stare out the window at the scenary.

Your still a pilot and you worked too hard to give it up.
Uncle Ryan says you should get back out there and not waste what you've worked so hard to achieve. He feels his time up, up and away is the most relaxing part of his day and looks forward to the solitude those flights give to him.
I know you may feel attached to a certain flight school for rentals, but don't hold yourself back. Ever consider another school to rent from? How about a different airport all together? (RYY has 2 schools/clubs and is a far easier airport than PDK to deal with)

Call around, check the web...see if you can find one that works better with your schedule / budget. Some places may only require FAA currency, but will gladly set you up with an instructor if you feel the need. You mind find that they have a different type of aircraft that you actually enjoy more than the Warrior / Archer.

Summer flying can be intimidating, especially for a Private pilot without an Instrument rating. (Not a shot at you there!) Don't let the haze keep you down, just keep an eye on that chart.
My post may have left the impression that the school is bothering me, but I don't have any problems with the flight school or with PDK. I have considered switching to a different school, just to get some experience with Cessnas or other types of aircraft, but going someplace else isn't going to make it easier for me to find the time to fly.

Flying in summer is awful, in my opinion. I'm sure there are people who enjoy the "challenge" of it, but I'd rather just sit in my air-conditioned apartment than sweat in a tin can.
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