Flight School Update: Starting Commercial Ground School

Unlike my private ground school class, the commercial class is a sausage fest. My private class had half women and half men. I’m the only female in the commercial class.

Which is fine – I’m used to it. Being in tech support as long as I have been, I can hold my own in a group of guys and I’m not easily offended.

Most of it has been more details on air law, and review of air law and general knowledge so far. My understanding is the commercial tests are mostly the same as the private tests, and based on the same information, you just have to understand and know it better. The questions on the written exam will be more tricksy and try to confuse you, or ask for more specific information, and the margin of error for touchdown points, for example, is 1/4 of what you get on the private.

One thing that was kind of cool was when we went over landing gear, and the instructor called me out because he knew I’d been flying the Citabria. I was the only one in the class who’d ever flown a tail-dragger, so I got to be special. I was a little surprised – I figured there would be at least someone who’d flown one – there was one girl in my private ground school class who’s father had a tail-dragger that she’d learned on.

And last class we went over diesel engines, and I think the guys may have been impressed by how much I knew about them. I explained I had to know this for learning to drive a car. According to my Dad, this was crucial information before he would let me start the car. And yes, I will be teaching my kids this too.

Unlike the private written test, the commercial written test has to be done before you can take the practical, so I’m glad I’m getting going on the ground school bit. In the meantime, I’m supposed to be time building. Which isn’t something I’m going to be good at. I’m not a very self motivated person, and when there isn’t a specific reason to do something I have trouble getting myself around to doing it. I’m supposed to do more trips around southern Manitoba, but I can’t help feeling like I’m just kind of running around on a hamster wheel because there’s no actual reason to go to these places. It’s the same reason I can’t bring myself to go to a gym to work out – I don’t feel like it accomplishes anything.

I think I need to work out a more definite schedule of trips I’m going to do and work out how it’s going to fulfill my hours requirements and find a way of organizing it to that I can trigger my goal oriented strengths. And I so need to get my passport stuff together so I can go flying to the US – I want to take my Dad to the Fargo air museum. I’ll probably try and make that my 300 nautical mile trip, and just swing by one more airport past that to make sure it’s 300 nautical miles straight line.


4 responses to “Flight School Update: Starting Commercial Ground School

  1. And this is where you were heading all along wasn’t it? Getting a commercial license and having people give you the dollars rather than you hand them over. I think you said this was what you wanted to do in your professional life, this isn’t just a hobby.

    As for the composition of the class – male and female, it sounds like you have made your point to the guys already, you are all pilots and you all want to become commercial pilots. That’s the deal here. I know I’ve said this before, but I keep thinking about how far you’ve come – with a 80/20 mix of respect and mild envy 😉

    And the point was really brought home to me when I read something you wrote a year ago, 25th Sept 2012:

    “I’ve flown before – I love flying. If you read any of my long form writing, you’ll probably notice a theme of flying machines, animal characters that fly, etc. It always frustrates me that I’m not the sort of person who would likely end up in one of my own stories – that I’m not someone who likes to charge into things and has everything together and confident.

    You see what I mean? Makes me think about what I really want to do…


    • Ha! That was a year ago yesterday wasn’t it? And then the next paragraph goes:

      “On the other hand, maybe I am. Every time I see myself shying away from these things, don’t I slap myself in the face and tell myself to stop being wuss? I am going after all. Don’t they always say the heroes are the ones who are scared, but wade in anyway?”

      And wow, it’s weird reading that now – that was before I had even thought learning to fly was a possibility for me. I think maybe it was less of a possibility than an inevitability!

  2. Good to read about the commercial class. That is my goal for 2014, plus IR.
    What about going on holidays for some hourbuilding? This summer I flew with my family to Greece, last year to Spain… 20 hours each. So if there’s a place far away you would like to see – why not take that 152 for a few days off? 😉 Ciao

    • The holiday suggestion is simple for you to say in Europe 😛 In Canada, things are a lot farther apart – even more so than in the US. I can go 100 miles any direction from where I’m standing right now, and not find anything worth holidaying for short of maybe Kenora’s claim to fame chip truck. To get anywhere with a higher population centre than the city I’m in, I’d have to go at least 600 nautical miles, or to the US. And that gets me to Calgary – and god help me I don’t think I can handle that much country music. The other direction would be Toronto, but that’s getting up to 800nm, and I’m supposed to be doing some more short trips around southern Manitoba to work my way up to my 300nm trip. Flying in Manitoba is boring. I guess I’m glad I’m not is Saskatchewan, though.

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