The last weeks have been busy with flights and preparations for my first progress checks, refreshing theoretical knowledge, and chair flying my maneuvers. I passed both my phase 1 and my phase 2 check and that means I got cleared to do my first solo flight Saturday morning.
The morning was a bit cloudy, but around noon it cleared up and we could go flying. I had two laps in the pattern with my instructor before I was left alone.
I was super nervous at first when my instructor jumped out and wished me good luck. But once I started rolling everything was perfectly fine. A crazy feeling and a lifetime experience taking off all alone. An unforgettable moment.
Three laps in the pattern with full-stop landings went fast and I really look forward to going for my solo navigation flights gradually.
In between flights, I am enjoying what the Texas weather has to offer and life on the other side is pretty good nowadays. I feel privileged to be here.
After Texas recovering from the winter storm, I have finally had my first flights.So much fun and I guess it will be even more fun further along the way. The old Cessnas is so far treating me well.
Flying twice a day can be challenging and the learning curve is pretty steep. No doubt the next couple of months will be busy. It is all about trying to make the most out of the bad weather days, a combination of studying and exploring the state.
And so the adventure begins. Excited for the coming weeks with lots of VFR flying.
My first week here in Texas has been quite interesting. Just a few days after we arrived Texas got snow and freezing temperatures. Which resulted in a complete chaos, Texans for sure does not know how to handle this kind of weather.
The power has been on and off for days, WiFi has been out, no available Ubers, grocery stores and restaurant has been closed and the list goes on. Actually, getting food has been the main challenge these days. But finally, the sun is out, the school is open and the snow has melted real quick.
Today we had a check up at the doctor to get our FAA medicals done. All good and delicious dounts on the way back. We have also started our first phase brief, which means we are a few steps closer to get up in the air.
The flights were pretty much on time and we arrived Dallas more or less as scheduled. Such a beneficial routing with only one short stop in London. Customs and Border Protection when landing in Dallas was just fine.
Saturday we had a some orientation at school and got to meet some of the instructors which all seems very welcoming and friendly. Excited to get started.
The first day at US Aviation Academy was originally planned to be Monday already, but this might be cancelled due to a snowstorm coming in. Totally fine for me, still trying to adjust to living in a new time zone. And by Friday the coming week, the weather luckily seems to improve a lot. This does not really affect our flight training yet either, as we are scheduled with ground school this first week.
Next up is to wait for our doctors appointments to get our FAA medicals. Other than that, staying in while watching the snow melt.
After a short visit to the embassy in Oslo my visa got approved directly. The whole process was somewhat smooth and uncomplicated. The perks of having a Norwegian passport. This means I am ready to cross the Atlantic Ocean for some fun and flying. The departure day is tomorrow morning already.
I have some more «good» news as well. Robin got laid off a few weeks ago, which means he was able to come to Norway. We had not seen each other since September, so it has been a pleasure to finally have him here. Eventually some luck for us. Actually we were quite sure we could not meet before my scheduled departure to the US. So, some weeks of bonus time with my favorite, and we have had an amazing time in my hometown in perfect winter conditions. Happy me.
At this moment, me, my bags and the paperwork (which is a lot!) are ready to go. I have also got a fit-to-fly certificate proving that I am COVID-negative. Fingers crossed for a smooth journey. It has been a pretty long time since my last long haul flight, let us hope I still remember how to do it. 🇺🇸
December left me in uncertainty with regards to my flight training. Due to the continuous capacity issues at my school, it is now decided that I will have to move to Texas for 10 weeks. I feel quite vulnerable and it has been a though decision to make, but my other option would definitely not make me feel better either. But personal feelings put aside, I need to think of my progress and what is best for my training right now. Whatever that is. I just want to get it over and done with.
Anyway, out of the options given to me, it feels like flying in Texas is the right solution. I will stay in Norway until further, but not be allowed to start my flight training. All single-engine training will be done in the US, and thereafter I can go home to Norway for all multi-engine and simulator lessons.
I still hope for this year to be better than the previous, with less setbacks, nice weather both in Norway and in Texas, and most importantly a vaccine to help us fight the coronavirus.
Finally, it was my turn to complete and pass all 14 ATPL exams. What a relief.
Last week I completed Principles of Flight and this week I did General Navigation. The two subjects I have struggled the most with, but by not giving up I managed to learn and understand these subjects as well. I just needed some more time to digest the material.
It feels surreal to cross the theoretical finish line after over one year with (almost) constantly studying. My shoulders and neck are in desperate need of a massage or two, so that is how I will celebrate.
The ATPL theory is hereby a closed chapter, and I am off from work for a while now, so I will go home during Christmas. Time to do fun stuff instead of studying polar curves, dead reckoning navigation, and the ground effect. I will make sure to go cross-country skiing, watch some more of the Crown, and last but not least, continue to wait patiently for the government to allow my boyfriend to cross the border. I have longed for this Christmas for months and finally, it is here.
Tuesday I finished my thirdsitting and four more CAA exams are passed. Exhausted, relieved, and happy with my own performance. It feels good, even though I have the two remaining ones in mind. Now it is time to work harder than ever to pass those as well. I know I will find it difficult, but I also know I can do it.
The school is currently suffering huge capacity issues, which means that I will not be scheduled for flight lessons any time soon. Fortunately, I have got a part-time job, which was perfect timing right now. So besides exam preparations, I have plenty of time to work.
This fall turned out to be a bit different than expected, but one day at a time.
I have officially made it through ground school. Today was the last day of our ATPL classes. Aircraft General Knowledge, Performance, and Instrumentation are all done. In total 14 subjects are covered, and only some CAA exams left. Almost exactly one year since the first day at the academy.
The next CAA sitting will take place in September and should have been my last sitting. Regrettably, since I failed two exams during my very first sitting, I will use an extra sitting to re-do those. Anyhow, I will first focus on doing my best for AGK, PERF, OPS, and INST this time. It is a time for every purpose, I guess.
One year with a full-time theory schedule has been pretty exhausting and time-consuming. Still some time left before my exams, so I will not have to rush any preparations yet. First of all, I will enjoy some well deserved days off.
Tomorrow I will head to my second home, Gdansk. It has already been 7 months since last time, the pandemic combined with classes has made the commute a little fancy. Lucky to finally be able to go.
I am excited and very ready to continue this journey and learn how to fly for real. Fingers crossed for the weather this fall, and no more pandemics, please.
During the first week with AGK, we have studied landing gear, piston engines, airframes, hydraulics etc., which was a perfect opportunity to get to visit the hangar.
Friday we got a tour to take a closer look at the different parts. Very helpful to see real-life examples of all the small details we are taught in class. It fascinates me to learn about how everything is connected and that nothing is left to chance. A fun and a convenient day at school.
The coming week will be busy as it is already time for the first progress tests for this subject. Feels good to be back in the classroom. The final stage of theory lessons before it is time to fly.