With all the changes that have come about after 911, General Aviation has taken an unwarranted bad rap. the following link will take you to a site that deals with this issue. Please check this out and become informed.
In 1982, I began reading all the books I could find on acquiring a pilot's license. I had actually purchased a test manual for the written test. After inquiring on the cost for a formal training curriculum, I decided to wait for awhile. It was just to expensive at this time. Through the next 16 years, I would update my books occasionally so I could keep up with the changes that had been made in the Aviation Regulations.
At the beginning of 1998 I took the 3rd Class Medical Physical and started studying very hard for the Written Test. I finally found a Flight Instructor that would give me a practice Written Test. I passed with a 92% and was endorsed to take the actual Written Test. I began my formal Private Pilot Flight Training in May of 1998 at the C18 Frankfort Airport in Frankfort IL. I was able to devote two to three days a week to flying. By October of 1998, I was ready to take my Check Ride Flight with an FAA Examiner. After a disappointing event that took out the training aircraft, (Click to view) not my doing, I had to learn a whole new aircraft. This took about another 20 hours and 9 months (I wouldn't fly in the winter).
On June 21st 1999, I took and passed the Practical Flight Test. It was a miserable day for flying. A storm was heading in and brought visibility down to bare minimums. The Examiner was very relaxed as I was very nervous during the test. At the last landing, I was told that as long as I did not hit the fuel truck, I would be the newest Licensed Private Pilot in the area. I didn't hit anything as I parked and waited for my temporary license. It was the greatest feeling to be handed and congratulated by the Examiner and my friends on that wet and dreary day.
Ever been to a real Air Show? Well I went to Air Venture 2001 in Oshkosh, WI. It was my second time to get here. The first time, I was still a student and was picked to fly a C-172 to Oshkosh Before we got there, we were diverted to another airport, since there had been an accident close to the Oshkosh Airport. I landed at Fon Du Loc instead and took the bus. In 2001, I couldn't fly there so I drove and stayed for 5 days. Here are a few photos from that visit. Photo Link Here is also a link to the Air Show Web Site Air Venture
My Heart Trouble and Aviation
In 2004, I was diagnosed with blockage of the vessels on the heart. This ended my flying adventures because I no longer held a valid medical certificate. After the hospital visit and the addition of a stent, I was release and onto the road to recovery. I was determined to get my flying privileges back. After some initial inquires I found that a special issuance medical certificate was possible. Great I was ready to get back into the air.
Then I read the provisions in which I had to fulfill in order to get and keep the special certificate. I would have to go through all the blood tests, stress tests and MioView (a camera that takes pictures of your heart after they have injected me with a small amount of glow-in-the-dark nuclear stain), this would give them a clear picture of how blood is flowing in the vessels that feed blood to the heart muscles. I also have to pass the usual treadmill stress test. I worked hard to get back in enough shape to do this test for over 12 minutes. My goal is over 15 minutes so I keep working out.
I have been able to complete al the requirements now for over 5 years and have been enjoying my flying experience tremendously. So the moral is "Don't give up, where there is a will , there is a way." I hope none of you ever have to go through this every year, but if you want to fly, well you know.
See you at any of the pancake breakfasts around the Joliet (KJOT) area.
Unfortunately, in 2010, I have lost my Pilots license due a heart condition. I am sad that I cannot fly anymore as it was so enjoyable to be free from the Earth.
I will always to keep a spot in my heart for flying.