Visibility: about 20 km
Location: EDAY (Strausberg)
Equipment: MD3 Rider (D-MALJ)
I did the first addition to my pilot’s license – the passenger rating. With the sports pilots license, I can only fly on my own or with another pilot. Before I can take passengers, I have to fly solo to three different airports and I have to fly two trips of more than 200 km and a stop over each with a flight instructor.
We have decided to fly up to the coast today. The island of Rügen is the right distance from Strausberg and it is a nice trip. It is a warm day, the fuel tanks are full and with the flight instructor and myself on board, Lima Juliet is working hard as she climbs out of Strausberg.
The passenger rating is a great idea. It gives a new pilot like myself the possibility to get used to handling the aircraft without the reassuring presence of a flight instructor. After each of my solo flights, I came back with home work. I read the rules for the air spaces again and brushed-up on my radio communication. I learned how to fuel the aircraft and how to check the other engine fluids.
The weather is calm and although we don’t have great visibility, flying is pleasant. The instructor and I are chatting about the weather conditions and he confirms my navigation and gives me helpful tips.
The airport at Rügen is very proper and not very busy. We have fish for lunch and watch a tired Cessna take off with a group of tourists.
After the break we take the long way home. Out onto the sea and along the coast of the island. First along Prora, the Nazi vaccation home which at one point was the largest building in he world. Then further up to the tip of Rügen with its white cliffs like in Dover. Over to the western side and back along the neighboring island of Hiddensee – a glorified sand bank, really.
In the distance the city of Stralsund appears with the Rügendamm bridge to the island, its historic port and and the post-war industrial complex that is the Volkswerft ship yard. The size of the container vessels build there has increased
inversely proportional to the number of workers needed to build them or sailors to sail them.
From Stralsund on we follow the A20 highway back to our course line home. There is a pretty boring stretch ahead of us with not a lot of visual reference to navigate by except for the curvy concrete band of the interstate. As I look over to the flight instructor, I can’t help but smile. He is asleep in his seat. It does not look like he is fearing for his life.
To be continued…
(originally posted on June 22, 2011 by tilbo at aloft.blog.com/passenger-rating/)