Things went a bit quiet over Christmas. But with the 28 February 2011 start date just over a month away, here’s the current situation:
- Training plan/assignment of flight instructor. After a couple of phone chats with the CFI, I’ve been put in touch with one of the Schofields club’s instructors who also runs the flight theory courses for the club. Seems like a pretty good bloke. I’m headed out to the club on Saturday to meet with him and to hammer out a training plan that (hopefully) gets me qualified by end of April, weather and my aptitude permitting. I’ll also discuss ways of doing a few of the theory exams in advance – be good to get some of this out of the way.
- BAK/PPL theory study. Completed the BAK study manual before Christmas – that’s twice I’ve been through the BAK stuff now. Am well into the PPL manual, just completing Operational Meteorology and about to get into Navigation.
- Club membership. My membership of Schofields Flying Club is now official, as announced on the club home page.
- ASIC/AVID ID and student license. Just before Christmas I received the final bits of paperwork from CASA that I need to legally fly – my Student License and my ASIC card. All square now.
So – my excitement mounts! Some questions/challenges on my mind at this point:
- Will the weather get in the way? The eastern states of Australia – in fact much of the country – is well and truly in the grip of La Nina, with summer rainfall well above average and once-in-a-century flooding in Queensland and Victoria. Rainfall above average is projected into early autumn. Which is when I’ll be flying – so the wild card is, can I get my 60-odd hours of flying done in the 8 weeks of March/April given the weather situation? I’m wondering if I need to plan a 9th week as some sort of contingency reserve of time.
- Can I get enough theory study done? It’s been a challenge to focus on this satisfactorily, frankly. My ability to get through the theory has been severely limited by the fact that I can only do it in very small chunks of time – an hour here or there (mainly on our holiday week away in early January), and the 15 minute commute to and from work. It’s not been enough to get really solid study periods in. (Mitigating this to some extent is the fact that I’ve done the theory once already. Nearly 3 years ago admittedly, but it means that I’m not having to spend quite the same amount of time absorbing/learning the second time around – it’s more like a thorough refresher course). During the actual March/April period, I’m planning on getting a lot of my day-to-day study done at the club, because when I get home, available time will be scarce …
- Can I balance training and family schedule? Apart from study requirements, the other thing is the family schedule during the week. Laura is back at work Mondays/Tuesdays. Lilu is in long day care on the same days and needs dropping off in the morning and picking up in the afternoons 4-ish. And Seth starts school full time in early Feb, meaning that most days he needs to be picked up at 3pm sharp (4pm on Mondays after his tennis class). Some days I’ll have the car to drive to Bankstown, some I’ll have to schlep over by train and bus. What does that leave me in terms of a time window for flying training Monday to Friday? Looks as though Mondays and Tuesdays will be the challenge days – I might have to have short flying days those days, or if Laura can do morning drop-offs, I get train/bus out to the club at sparrow fart and then leave after lunch to get the kids. Wednesdays through Fridays will be less of an issue, hopefully, with Laura not back full time. Wow.
But it’s all good. Can’t wait to get started. A lifetime’s ambition is about to be fulfilled, and it promises to be 2 of the most exciting months of my life.