Temperature: 9°C, partly cloudy
QNH: 1025hPa (high pressure)
Location: EDAY (Strausberg)
Equipment: Cessna 152 (D-EMFM)
2020 has not been a great year for my personal flying. My company was – and still is – affected by the global travel restrictions of the Corona pandemic and I have been a bit reluctant to go out and fly. As a result I am very rusty. On paper (my last log entry is 10 months old) and also in my head.
Private pilots have do do a check ride with an instructor every other year. Usually that is a pretty relaxed affair. An hour or so to make sure that the pilot has not developed too many bad habits. My Biannual check ride is due and for the first time, I did not fly the required number of hours in the 12 months prior to the check ride. That means that the check becomes a bit more formal and a bit more intense. It is now more about making sure that I have not forgotten too much.
I arrive at the flight school looking forward to flying as well as the obligatory coffee & gossip. I will be flying with an instructor I have not met before. We go through the preparations and he asks many questions to assess what I still remember and what I might have forgotten. I instantly like his quiet, methodical style.
Our chariot of fire today is “Foxtrot Mike”. A Cessna 152 from the 1970s. We both go way back. My first ever international trip was on “Fox Mike” as a navigator, before I even had my license. Later I did my night rating on her and the first trip with my wife to the coast was on “Fox Mike” as well.
We are getting her ready and talk about every step on the way. When we finally take to the skies, three three hours of intense flying begin. Navigation training, touch-and-goes, air work, emergency drills. The instructor lets me sweat like I have not sweated in an airplane in a long time. The training is hard work for me and much appreciated. When we are finally back at the home base, I am exhausted.
I am current again and I spent a great day in the air. But more flying on a regular basis still beats the crash course!
To be continued…